I’m learning that I don’t always need to know what to do next. The next step comes to me when I am ready for it. I have to trust that and be ready to do whatever it is I end up called on to do. I can look back at my life and see how each step helped prepare me for the next one. Here are just a few of the steps…
Six years ago I started learning about how food affects depression. I started cutting most processed foods out of my diet, starting with white flour and sugar but then also many other product’s whose confusing ingredient lists seemed to affect my moods and mental clarity.
Soon after starting to change my food, I started buying local organic vegetables from a CSA. Three years ago when I moved I found a new CSA for vegetables and a source of local organic meat and eggs. Our weekly trips to the grocery stores are mainly focused on getting milk products with a few other staples like rice and carob powder. Now I’m working on eating seasonal, local food, and on increasing the amount of beans and lentils we eat so as to decrease the amount of meat (slightly) in respect for the fact our farmer sells out of meat quite easily, and there’s others wanting to get this good quality ethical meat too.
Gardening has also been a progression. Three years ago I was focused on trying to grow edibles. I wanted to seek out lesser known herbs and heirloom vegetables. Now I am still enjoying those (particularily right now the salad burnet and sweet cecily, both of which come up really early in the spring) but I am also looking for ways to plant more to feed birds and insects.
I’m also looking for ways to improve our lawn but my goal is not just to have it lush green but to try to promote more life. I want to find a way to encourage longer roots (maybe by overseeding with a different type of grass). I want to encourage worms and insects. I want big bushy plants to provide cover for the chipmunks and I want to make sure all the flowers we have are good pollen producing flowers and not hybrids selected for showy pollen-less blooms.
Step by step… the next step comes… sometimes I can see three or four more steps ahead of me, things I want to do but am not quite ready for. There will always be more to do but each step comes in its time and when it is time it will seem as natural as breathing. Okay, maybe not. Some are still scary even when it is time, but even then there’s a certain sense of inevitability about them like the dread a person might feel before heading to a dentist office, just enough to make one uncomfortable but not so much that you cancel the appointment.