No, First Day of School photos here. Instead, I would like to talk to you about Chilean apples. First of all, thank you for tuning in to the Emily Show. We drink caffeine here.
So, today is Maya and Ian's first day of Virtual School and tomorrow Forrest Shearer is moving to Austin, so to commemorate all these transitions, I am baking an apple pie. Normally I wouldn't bake apple pie in the summer, because everybody knows the best apple pies are made with macintosh apples and you can't buy macs in the summer, at least not around here, but I guess I "promised" Forrest I would make him one, actually I "promised" an apple AND a pecan, so he went to the store for me last night to buy apples, but the Granny Smiths (a distant second choice) he came back with weren't from around here either, they were from Chile. So I'm in the kitchen, washing and slicing Chilean apples while Maya is checking her Canvas online school platform for the hundredth time and Ian is upstairs, presumably doing Intro to Spanish on the computer in his bedroom, but who knows, he could be playing Minecraft, such is Online School with a 14 yo. And I'm thinking about Chilean apples. Really thinking mindfully about the green apples in my hand as I run each one under water. What was the apple farmer's name who sowed these seeds? Who are his/ her children? How many pensavos does s/he earn per apple that I put into my pie? And the Metta just pops into my head: May I be One with all beings. May All Beings be One. May I be a vehicle of Oneness for all Beings. And with a shiny green apple in my hand, I feel a union with that Chilean apple farmer. I hope the best for her/his family. I wonder if apples were picked by trucks or human hands, who delivered them to the processing plants, how many palmed this apple on its long journey from Chile to my kitchen/ and I am ONE with every person along the way. That's how it works. And if I am One with the apple pickers on another continent, so too am I One with the kids' teachers, with Forrest's new friends and employer and landlord, people who will play significant roles in my children's lives but whom I will never meet. And I am One with the parents and families of the kiddos whose lives I will touch this year, with the women at the shelter where I will eventually get to teach yoga again, with the folks who view and appreciate my art, readers of my poems, readers of this blog. Which makes me One with YOU. Which, here is the coolest part, makes you One with CHILEAN APPLE FARMERS. See how that works?? Love it.
It's the "First Day of School." Normally, I love this time of year. New stuff, new resolutions, new schedules and routines. It takes some adjustment, but I am not afraid of change, as long as it's in service of sloughing off the old and diving headlong into the Better. Changes are in store. Milestones are ahead. Of course, they always are. Le plus ça change, le plus c'est la même chose, nest-ce pas? This is the year I have learned Italian, relearned how to embroider, knitted an entire quilt, got a new dog, written most of a novel (!) and most of a new chapbook, discovered and embraced artistic expression as never before. I have hiked the Colorado mountains and seen fields of wildflowers in bloom and that made more of a difference than I can ever tell you or write for you or paint for you, but I know you can feel it, because it's all connected--to the Chilean apples.
Everything's connected. We're all really, truly, very much all in this together. I think this is the thing to remember.
So as the kids do this BTS thing and I do too, I'm pulling out my brightest paints and boldest pens and calligraphing GRACE all over this bitch. (!!) GRACE in the form of an apple pie and maybe a pecan one too. GRACE in the form of saying good-bye to Forrest all over again after this gift of having him back under my roof for these last six months. GRACE to every single school administrator who's trying to work this thing out. GRACE in the adjustment of new schedules, new breathing patterns, new free workout apps and meditation tracks and a pair of red sandals I've always wanted and finally gave myself permission to buy after Birdie ate my last expensive orthotic pair. GRACE in the form of learning how to walk again, far, because of Colorado mountains and patience for the long game of healing - you can't rush it. GRACE in the not rushing. GRACE, too, just a little bit, in the power of caffeine. And words and art and wild spirit yoga, little schoolhouses, art classes, sleeping with the windows open. And stillness and prayers for the doctors and nurses and my dad and his cousins and EuroYoga and havens and ports in the storm. So much power, so much grace. So many apples to peel. I gotta go.