Monday, May 23, 2011

The Naked Chef

May marks my official 4th year of living in the country. I don't always notice the changes that have taken place but if I look back at who I was in 2007, I see the difference. Instead of training my staff about Viognier vs. Albarino, or the benefits of grass fed beef, I'm training my chickens to not eat my beets. I'm not saying which is easier.

I spend more time outdoors than in. I "shop" in my yard where I forage for edibles, herbs, medicinal roots. I'm in bed when I used to be sitting down for dinner. Things that I used to love (high heels, cheese dip and margaritas, sleeping with the gardener) no longer serve. Like, at ALL. I don't know if it's the full moon in Scorpio we just had (on my birthday no less) or that the End of Times malarky came and went but the planets seem to have shifted but I feel like I've wandered out into the road with no clothes on.

I always imagined reinvention to be stopping one thing and picking up another like a relay race. I'm not going to be a restaurateur I'm going to be a farmer. Ta DA!!!

Turns out this farming thing takes a lot of patience and time. And learning. And trial and error. And chickens who eat all your beets before they have a chance to be well, beets. It's not what I thought and my need to control things and be on top of everything is just giggled at by nature. It's the ultimate guide to improv. You can be prepared, but you'll never conquer it.

A friend of mine has just had a major break through with a horse she's had for several years. He's a great beauty and full of personality and life but has been unrideable. She has spent thousands trying to diagnose the source of his pain and his unwillingness to be under saddle. She put him up for sale. What good is a horse you can't ride? This is after all a hobby for the privileged. Right? She finally got an answer from an equine chiropractor. He was probably flipped as a youngin' and fractured his withers. He could only be a companion horse. Closure. What now? She sat down in his corral and took off her shoes. With great interest he came to her, sniffed her feet and looked at her with a "You're barefoot too?" and he just nuzzled her and they went for a walk side by side barefoot. She realized in the seven years of having him and her nearly 20 years of horse ownership, she's never just really sat down, enjoyed and gotten still with these animals. It was work. It was training. It was conquering. Ahahahahahahaha...

Can't be done. Stop. Listen. See what he has to teach you.

Being still is hard. Waiting is hard. Encouraging things to present themselves at the right time and the right way is mind numbing. We are masters at being our own arsons so we can in turn be our own firemen. We feel purposeful, even when we're just driving in circles.

I've been racking my brain trying to decide if I'm going to launch a yogafacility/restaurant/lunchcounter/tacotrailer/wineshop/chickenranch/doggiedaycare/cookingschool as my next act. But that's what I used to do. Launch. Conquer. Count money. Freak out. Run away. So my thing now is to do NOT that. I'm just sitting in the corral waiting for a horse to come and nuzzle my toes. And with faith, I believe it will happen.