I’ve been pondering how to enjoy a BLT without the bacon, and am grateful that it finally occurred to me to order some vegetarian bacon bits and see if that could work. And more grateful that it did! Nothing equals bacon. But I haven’t been able to eat it for the past year; I simply lost my taste for eating pig. I’ve only eaten meat a couple of times this year, though I will continue to slowly cook up the few pieces that remain in my freezer, or eat meat if it’s served to me. It’s hard even to serve it to my cat and dog, though I will because I believe it’s the best option for them.
Meanwhile, I’ll explore substitutes like soy-based bacon bits and other options, as well as eat more legumes and pulses, and all the other vegetarian proteins available. I’m grateful I got some bacon bits in time to make some semi-BLTs with the last few garden tomatoes.
I’m grateful for mindfulness practice, and for the Mindful Life Program where I trained to be a mindfulness teacher. Their latest yearlong cohort graduates tomorrow, and I’ve participated in some sessions of their final online retreat this weekend. One of the sessions for teachers involved some outdoor mindfulness exercises, including a ‘mindful photography’ piece option: to take pictures representing the Four Keys of Living Mindfully. These are Attention, Values, Wisdom, and an Open Heart. For attention, I captured this lovely moth on a Maximilian sunflower, representing attention to detail, or to nature, or to beauty, your choice.
For Values, I shot my clothesline, representing my value of living lightly on the planet: off the grid, entirely solar powered, my home doesn’t have a dryer. I’ve been enjoying drying clothes on this Irish-made Breezecatcher clothesline for many years. Clothes, and in this case, kitchen linens, the dish towels I use in abundance to reduce paper towel use, and the dish cloths I knitted for several years until arthritis stilled my knitting needles for awhile. I hope to get back to knitting more this winter. What a relief to knit long-lasting cotton wash-squares that clean as well as any disposable sponge and last for years with frequent hot water washes.
The last two keys, Wisdom and an Open Heart, are represented in the Contemplation Tree in the yarden, where skulls, antlers, horns and various other found artifacts of wild life surrender slowly to Impermanence. The tree itself, a skeleton of an old juniper, honors Impermanence. As I may have mentioned once or twice before, comprehending the truth of Impermanence is fundamental to Wisdom. The barbed wire heart, which has been hanging there for nearly thirty years, was something I hadn’t noticed in a long time and a perfect surprise representation of Open Heart.