It’s one of those funny sorts of days where I’m perfectly happy but feel all sorts of emotional, getting weepy at the drop of a hat. I know it’s because of all the kindness I’ve received and observed this week. It never fails to turn my heart to mush and make me a bit soppy.
The refugee situations in Europe and Australia are breaking my heart. I wish I was rich enough and powerful enough to find everyone a safe place to live and grow and thrive. But I’m so thankful for those who are doing everything they can to help and comfort and support. If this situation is on your heart too, here are 5 practical ways you can help refugees, starting today.
I’ve seen kindness close at home too. Yesterday my friend Oma spent the whole day with me showing me how to use her feather plucker, how to butcher ducks and chooks to get the most use out of each bird, and shared recipes for corned meat, sauerkraut with black pepper and caraway seeds, and crispy fried duck pressed under a brick. Then she gave me a stove. A stove!!! Do you remember I told you my stove and oven (and electric frying pan and spice grinder and bread maker) konked out last month? Bit by bit we’ve been replacing the appliances, but a stove is a big one and had to wait a while. Well, Oma told me, “I’ve got two and I don’t need two so one is for you.” I cried. Such generosity and thoughtfulness. It’s the loveliest little oven, just enough to bake a loaf of bread, a roast, or a pan of cookies, with two burners on top for soups, boiling potatoes, and frying eggs. I love it. And have named her Rosie.
It was such a beautiful day at Oma’s, working in the shed out of the wind, thoroughly enjoying the novelty of lush green grass and wildflowers after a dry and withering winter. As we plucked and gutted and carved and chatted, we were able to talk about so many good things in our lives: rain for our gardens, chooks laying eggs again, friends who are really there for each other.
When you move to a new country, it takes a while to find your place, to build the relationships that will be the ones you depend on when life goes wonky. And today I’m quite overwhelmed with gratitude for the lovely people in my life here. People I can ask for help when I don’t know what to do, who can ring me for a ride somewhere or to pick something up or to lend a hand in a project they’ve got going on. We’re there for each other and it is a lovely, deeply comforting feeling. It’s good to not be alone in this world.
Earlier this week I got to spend time with my friend, Kathy. Several months ago she invited me to join her gardening group and we’ve become dear friends since then. She grows and sells seedlings and plants and always has something new to try, like Egyptian mint. I love going over to her place for the afternoon. A “quick visit” always turns into hours of animated talking about herbs and veggies, happy perusing of seed collections, and sipping wine while catching up on all the ins and outs of our daily lives. We’re always swapping plants and seeds and sharing things we’ve grown, baked, or brewed. This week I brought her goat manure, black violas, pansies, bush lemons, and spelt flour, and she sent me home with celery, mugwort, horse manure, and a stack of cool new seeds: apple cucumber, jam melon, Amish paste tomatoes, Italian striped zucchini’s and other treasures. If you’re on the Southern Downs of Queensland and want healthy, hearty plants for your garden, pop over to Facebook and join her group: Pots of Herbs and Punnets of Seedlings.
Today is sunny and quiet and peaceful and I’m exhausted after a very busy week. 🙂 So I’m taking the day to potter, to rest, to do the things that restore my body and spirit: reading, naps, sorting seed packets, making soup, and chats with far-away-but-dearly-loved friends who always give me courage and inspire me to press on with hope.
What kindnesses have you experienced this week? xo