Have you ever walked through a summer farmers’ market filled to the brim with luscious fruits and vegetables that beckon you to fill your bags? If one is lucky, some delectable homemade pies and other beautiful baked goods are also calling out to be considered.
In my first piece about goodness, it included the memory of my father and his strawberry patch.
Today, as I was walking up and down the aisles of the market, my eyes feasting on everything, I was taken back to memories of my mother canning fruits and vegetables. Once prepared and sealed, the jars of plentiful supply were stored in our cool, dirt floor, boulder wall cellar.
I loved that cellar, especially before the concrete floor was put in. a concrete floor. It was a place I would go simply for the adventure.
The stairway was narrow, the steps the original wooden ones from 1875. Those steps held history I do not even know, and I wonder who went up and down hundreds of times.
I had to duck at one part of them. Once in the cellar, the greatest joy was hopping from stone to stone, the stones seeming to have grown up out of the dirt floor.
Especially as a child it was a challenge, and if it rained too hard, there was the need for child and grownup alike to step from one to another to not step in the water that seeped in.
Thus, the eventual concrete floor and sump pump.
I am digressing. Back to the process and of preserving.
Such goodness was in each jar. All it took was unsealing the lid to be able to savor it. To dip into preserved peaches in the middle of winter, heavy cream and sugar added, was total delight.
It got me thinking about preserved goodness on a different level.
I am curious about ways to preserve goodness in this world, how to bottle it and seal it so there is always a portion available as needed. Not just a portion. Big, big, big, big portions.
How might we create that kind of consciousness, intention, and action? What are steps to be taken for it to become a reality?
How can I make sure there is an extra supply in me, an untouched reserve that I can count on, especially if I feel like I am low on my supply? A supply I know is there in a moment of wondering if it is or forgetting that it is.
What habits and rituals might I build into my life that create the row of jars of goodness inside me?
How can we as communities of all kinds do this? Goodness is goodness but it looks different depending on the moment or the situation.
Perhaps the fundamental question that invites me to dip deeply at this well is: What IS goodness?
I have a vague idea, I have tangible example, but I now realize I am still skimming the surface of this word, of this quality of being.
So, I am going to dip and dip and dip again until I am brought into greater aliveness of goodness.
I want to dip to see how it, with joy and kindness, the trio, along with many other qualities that make up the symphony of living, including love, matter.
I want to ponder and be in dialogue about how we can preserve them in their freshest, most luscious ways so that we can open them to those with whom we come in contact every day, especially when a first reaction might be otherwise.
Preserving delicious foods and having them at the ready.
Preserving delicious goodness and having it at the ready.
Ah…it makes me think of how many other kinds of preserves there are to create so that we fill the world with shelf after shelf. Endless shelves and supplies.
Also, to make sure we share some with ourselves. These qualities are not simply about giving to others but gifting them to ourselves with just as much generosity. And receiving them when offered to us by others, vulnerable and raw as it might feel at times.
So, go find a little jar right now!
Enjoy the Unsplash photo by Elena Leya