Features and Occasionals (3)
What we truly seek is hidden within us, although we may have to travel far into the world and face many other questions before we learn that.
An old idea suggests that each person’s life is a question being asked of the world. Each life is a specific question that isn’t completely answered until a person’s last breath goes out. Regardless of the condition of the outer world, the old idea was to enter the question of one’s life fully and become the living answer.
It’s like the story of the old rabbi who lay on his deathbed as his final hour drew near. His name was Zushya, and he had lived a full life. He was widely known and greatly respected as a holy man and scholar. He had taught others for many years and was loved by his students for his honesty and wit. Now that his time had come, his students gathered to share in his final moments.
When a student asked how he felt, the old teacher answered with characteristic honesty. “I am afraid to face God,” he said, “I fear that I will be found wanting in the world to come.” The students were shocked; how could such a thing be possible? Their teacher was an exceptional spiritual leader who had taught them generously and guided them wisely. The students began to reassure the teacher: “Rabbi, you are a pure and righteous man. You have shown the leadership of Abraham, the courage of Jacob, the vision of Moses. What do you have to fear in facing God?”
The Kale Effect is more than just recipes. Within its 80 pages, the 8x11 glossy softcover book, self-published by two women with local connections, is a handbook for building a healthy lifestyle and a healthy culture.
When I was a little kid, I had a thing for cruciferous vegetables. While other children were figuring out ways to clandestinely feed their Brussels sprouts to the dog, I was being told not to be greedy and to leave some in the bowl for other people. My mother tells a story of me as a four-year-old, having been fed and put to bed at a reasonable hour, coming back down the stairs to interrupt the “grown-up” dinner, saying “I smell broccoli!”
In addition to Brussels sprouts and broccoli, the genus Brassica also includes cabbage, cauliflower, mustard, kohlrabi, turnips, kale, rutabagas, collard greens, arugula and bok choy. Over the years, I’ve developed a penchant for hard, bitter greens like collards and kale. Kale in particular makes me swoon, and I am thus an easy mark for the wonderful new cookbook by Emily Miranda and Christina Bandaragoda, The Kale Effect.
Your garden still offers you a long list of reasons to go outside and play in the dirt.
There’s still plenty of good fall weather left, the inspiring kind that begs you to come out and play in it. Gardens need attention before winter settles in.