Wild garlic mustard from my backyard, which grows along with marsh marigold and a few dandelions. I could think of them as weeds. Instead, I think of them as nutritious vegetables which required no work on my part to grow and are readily available when most other greens are barely getting started.
It's all about perception. Which happens to be the worship theme of the month at my church. I wrote the following poem in almost one sitting, after meditating on the theme.
"Are you on faculty here?"
the Ivy League historian of women's studies asked.
"I'm a graduate student in education."
Her shoulder turned away, towards another, younger graduate student.
Wait! I wanted to shout.
There are reasons why I took so long to go to graduate school.
Like growing up in a family where life after high school meant work.
Like having children.
Like, you know, being a woman, for god's sake.
I feel old and young at the same time.
Is it adolescence or perimenopause?
Hot flashes and mood swings.
I am wise about certain things.
Clueless about others.
I wonder more than I should how others perceive me.
I am certain that I am bound to do great things.
And terrified that I am just ordinary.
And I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
Perhaps, rather than thinking of myself as middle-aged,
I will consider this a second, kinder adolescence.
Minus the narcissism, naivete, and nerdliness.
Or at least less of those.
Actually, I'll keep the nerdliness.
And the passion, the sense of endless possibility,
Inspiration, inquiry, and occasional instruction in the art of crafting a sustainable life, with forays into knitting, sewing, gardening, chicken-keeping, parenting, bicycling, eating and living local, and other attempts to prove Henry David Thoreau's statement "that to maintain one's self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if we will live simply and wisely."
Leave a comment, and/or feel free to email me directly at juliecrafted (at) yahoo (dot) com with your thoughts on crafting a life.