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Option C: Trust in the Universe

2014 September 12
by Rachel Turiel
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Everyone shows up for reading these days.

There is a very cagey, nervous (foster) kitten loose and hiding in my 800 sf house. And a caged rat cracking sunflower seeds, but rejecting the corn and “mystery pellets,” which Rose notices because she too is very allied to food preferences. And a batch of chokecherry mead audibly fermenting in my meditation corner. Yes, corner. (See: 800 sf house). And a husband gone for the third of many bow-hunting trips this month, trying to kill an 800-pound animal with a self-made, self-powered piece of wood (which, after spending another 5-day stretch alone with the kids, sounds like a freaking party. Drop me off in the woods with excessive bacon, please). And one child playing a jarring but charming self-invented song on guitar called “African Bees;” the other child 20 inches away on same couch perusing a book on airplane design, requesting, sighingly, that the musician play “just a little quieter.” See again: 800 sf house. 

Which is to say, not much is new. 

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Except maybe grapes. The grape vines we planted four years ago are actually producing enough for us to wander outside for a daily grape snack.

I made a batch of chokecherry mead recently and when it was time to sterilize the “must” (must is simply the liquid: water, fruit, honey, which you sterilize to kill marauding wild yeasts and bacteria that can hijack your mead), I pondered the three sterilization options. Option #1: Sterilize via chemicals. Option #2: Sterilize via boiling (which kills all beneficial enzymes in the honey). Option #3. Trust in the Universe. (which involves doing nothing other than trusting that your chosen yeast will prevail).

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I chose option #3. Not that I’m very good at Trusting in the Universe, which has a certain flimsy, slogany feel, and which probably requires a certain level of, well, patience and going with the flow, not my strong points. Also, the argumentative 5-year old in me has a lot of boringly practical questions, like hey, what about hard work and personal responsibility?

But, then I went to the Monday night dharma talk at the Durango Dharma Center, where Maureen spoke of all the ways we suffer because of desire, attachment, clinging, and our unwillingness to let go. In essence, our inability to trust in the natural way of things, in change, in the unknown, in our lack of control, in universal law, IN THE UNIVERSE.

Being a veteran clinger, I get nostalgic for moments that haven’t even happened. Right now I’m looking out the library window at the cottonwoods along the river, bits of yellow starting to flame. My mind goes instantly melancholic, fast-forwarding through every glorious color stroke of fall to the inevitable stark dormancy of winter. But guess what? It’s 75 degrees outside and spectacular. The garden is pumping out produce. It’s September. No matter what I cling to (a season, my children’s childhoods, my parents’ good health) the universe is primed to change, to subtly tick forward, to unfold in  predictable and mysterious ways, none of which are within my control.

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Our favorite hollyhocks this summer.

So, I’m Trusting in the Universe; trusting that we’ll get through Dan’s hunting absences as we always have (which may or may not include a slight uptick in beer); trusting that the bubbling 3 gallons of chokecherry must will become a delicious mead, complete sometime next spring; trusting that the foster kitty will reappear; trusting that summer will yield to fall, and fall to winter; and that a tuneless rendition of “African Bees” may be exactly what we need.

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Rose, pitching the yeast into the must.

xo,

Rachel

Related posts:

Homestead Happenings: overhaul
work and love
The arugula situation and other non-problems


11 Responses leave one →
  1. September 12, 2014

    Lovely. Trusting the universe is not my strong point (or even one of my top 50 points). Also, your grape arbor looked like a ferris wheel for a second there. Which would be a cool thing to have in your backyard. Along with grapes.

  2. Andrea permalink
    September 12, 2014

    Trusting the universe often feels like all I have left in this world. So let’s just do ourselves a big favor and move it up to option: A

    I am learning that letting to is no big thing, when you are holding onto nothing.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 12, 2014

      Beautifully said, friend.

  3. September 12, 2014

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  4. September 13, 2014

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
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  5. September 13, 2014

    Just the beautiful re-minder i needed in this moment of attachment! xoxox

  6. Carly permalink
    September 13, 2014

    I love the last photo of Rose “pitching the yeast into the must.” Now that’s a great metaphor for the whole trusting the universe thing. Something I’m also not well-versed in. But my kids? They’ve got it down!!! Which is one more reason I’m learning at least as much from them as I am teaching them.

    Oh, and I want to ask: what does mead fermenting sound like?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 13, 2014

      burble, gurble, blup blup.

  7. September 15, 2014

    Love this and you.

  8. Annie permalink
    September 17, 2014

    I always opt for Option 3 and have not yet been let down :) I was also planning on Chokecherry mead but as time slips by am now looking at elderberry… or grape… or apple…

  9. October 12, 2014

    does balsamic vinegar expire

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