Sunday, May 21, 2023

Each chive blossom contains one small bug

and for a moment, I am in awe, an entire world in my herb garden, and I am just a visitor, clearing out the weeds, untangling the thyme, which is creeping out onto the patio and winding around the outdoor furniture. I am in a constant battle with my yard. What to leave alone. What to cut and yank. The bugs to flick away. 

The ones to smush. 

This bug looks like a ladybug, so it's on the cute side when it comes to bugs. I have to put on my reading glasses to get a better look. I make a snap decision. Smush it. But now I feel a twinge of guilt. In my defense I was in the middle of making Chive Blossom Vinegar. 

Here is the recipe:

1. Pack a jar half full with chive blossoms. 

2. Add white vinegar. 

3. Let it sit for two weeks. 

4. Drain the soggy blossoms, and wah lah! A lovely, purply-colored vinegar for tossing on your salad.

Meanwhile I am reading a book about awe, called Awe. The author is a scientist who studies awe, carefully detailing what awe is ("the feeling of being in the presence of something vast") and how experiencing that feeling can help us (it takes us outside of ourselves, reminds us of our connection to each other and to the wider world).  

The book is broken into sections on where we can find awe, such as being in nature, listening to music or looking at art. There are studies on how awe can positively affect our minds and bodies. I believe all of this, and like the author, I want to feel awe every day. 

But the biggest takeaway of the book is that it doesn't have to be a big momentous occasion to catch the benefit. Because how many times in your life do you get one of those? I'm thinking of a few years ago when my son took my husband and me to Yosemite and that first glance at the mountains rising up around the bend in the road and how we all gasped at once. Or the time I wandered into a random church in Prague and I was all alone in the quiet space and found myself bursting into tears. 

Those chive blossoms aren't really blossoms, but pink-purple balls, each one made up of thread-like strands--petals, fronds? (another thing I don't know) and so intricately designed, it is almost a shame to lop them off, drop them in a jar. 

But a wonder too, that together we can make something beautiful.  

PS. Next time I won't smush the bugs.  


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