Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Smell of Hope and the Smell of . . . well . . . Something Else

A guest pastor at a church I once attended preached a sermon on hope. He spoke of hard times for his family and his people when he was a youth. But in the midst of that hardship, he said, there was hope. He knew this because he could smell it. Many was the afternoon when he would arrive home from school or from the fields to be welcomed by that smell. The smell of beans and cornbread cooking was, for him, the smell of hope. He went on to say that once he was eating those beans it was no longer hope. That was something altogether different.
That was attainment! But he went on to speak of hope. Ever since that day every time I have cooked beans and cornbread I have thought about that sermon and the feeling it gave me. The smell of hope!

My house was full of that deep rich aroma just the other day. We had both hope and attainment that day! And as always I thought about things that give me hope. In this chilly season I continue to find a great many hopeful things to focus on.

My Garden, of course. I have already written much about my gardening adventures this season and will a great deal more. For those of you who have missed my garden musings you can look here or over here or even here. I can also tell you that we planted peas the other day, and that my beets will soon be ready for transplanting. Nothing brings a feeling of hope like gardening, not even beans and cornbread!

The Occupy Movement. This one is a little tricky for me because it was a major factor in my decision to leave facebook. (In short, people were misinterpreting the level of support I was putting forth for the movement and saying things that really upset me.) I do not follow the Occupy Movement closely, and I do not agree with everything they do. I'm not entirely sure what they are trying to accomplish, for that matter. BUT!!! What gives me hope from seeing the movement remain in the news is that there is this organic group of people out there speaking their minds. They are exercising their freedom of speech to say, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"* And that's o.k. with me. When I think of Occupy I think of James Taylor's song "Shed a Little Light"

Then there's my friend Jen's blog.  Like with Occupy, I am not necessarily involved in the same things she is, but I love that she is doing them.  You can read some of her activities right here.  She's cool, and a tree hugger like me!

Now we get to the other smell I've been smelling.  Yet one more smell of hope, but not nearly so nice as beans and cornbread.  Yesterday I accomplished a task that has been on my mind for two years now.  I have created a proper compost pile.  This isn't your ordinary compost pile though, this is a carefully constructed humanure compost pile!  I spoke of the importance of composting EVERYTHING in this earlier post.  So yesterday I put my money where my mouth is and shoveled $#!& all day long!  Now my composting privy smells sweet, and the sun is shining on all of its previous contents (buried under so much other organic material that it no longer has an odor), cooking them down into rich, glorious, nitrogen filled compost!  Black Gold!  I believe this makes me chief cook and $#!& shoveler in THIS house!

So, tell me, what gives you hope?


Jen awJ said...

Dawwww....thanks, Barb! You're awesome. I love following your blog. I miss you on FB - but this blog is 10,000x better - I get to know you so much better and keep up with you in a more meaningful way. :)

Barb Schanel said...

I think that when my first quarter away from FB comes (Feb 5) I will post about just how much better blogging is than FB. LOL I equally love your blog. I'm glad I didn't leave the season last year without beginning to get to know you!

abbie said...

You are a brave brave woman. Funny, isn't it, how, the less things we have to distract us, the more REAL ACTIVITY we find to do?!
(Wondering why your menfolk weren't in that pile o'dookie with you, but I'm not gonna ask)
I agree, that this blog is much more substantial a way to get to really know people.
You're such a statue, Barb.

Barb Schanel said...

The guys were working their tails off too, cutting firewood. (they are a little fecophobic though)

I am both the Mamallama AND the Statue!

Nazneen Tonse said...

It's a pity you've left Facebook. It's a scary place, I know, and I've often deactivated and defriended!! I think we forget that we need boundaries there just as we do in real-life interaction. Perhaps more so. On FB those boundaries are called 'privacy settings' and you can play with them according to how you feel on any given day. Some days I can't bear Comments or even Likes and I just shut everyone out. Other days I let the world in. Give it a try. It's a shame to let go of Facebook because in spite of its scariness, it is perhaps the best opportunity to reach the world. Hope to see you there again someday.

Barb Schanel said...

Thanks for coming by Nazneen! I've really been enjoying your blog. I did make extensive use of privacy settings when I was on Facebook, but there's only so far I'm willing to go to avoid responses from people that I know and love. The only further privacy step I could have taken was to unfriend them, which I wouldn't do to a relative. Anyway, I am much happier now that I am not on Facebook. I think more deeply on my blog than I ever did there.