Day 4 of the sabbatical and I am enjoying the peace, quiet, cool nights, warm days and gentle family times being in my home town. Most of the info sent by previous Lilly Endowment grant recipients suggested (strongly) taking several weeks to adjust to not being at the office and on the job. Great advice as making the transition seems to take some time. I'm alternating between great peace and sheer anxiety. I've been enjoying walking Fargo and Rebel around town, looking at the homes of my grandparents and old friends, old schools--lots of fun memories there of family meals, playing on the cellar door, overnights, birthday parties, bike rides and games. Yesterday I climbed the hill near our home where my brother and I had a fort. We often would take bacon and eggs up there early in the morning and learned the fine art of cooking on a sage brush/cedar fire. Kids in those "olden days" had lots of freedom to ride bikes, go places unescorted and apparently even play with fire.
Yesterday, my sister, Joanie, asked on the phone, "What are you tasting and seeing of God this day?" Certainly the hills of Rawlins, the wide open sky with some glorious sunrises/sunsets, due to the smoke from California fires in the air. Tasting a very garlicky, herb encrusted leg of lamb that I fixed the other night; also coleslaw made from cabbage Daddy picked moments before from his beautiful garden; also tomatoes and green beans and onions. As I have been reading a book by Amy Trubek about terroir, taste of place, I think how we have always eaten well from the produce of the folks' garden. Before the popularity of farmers' markets, we had our own. As someone said, "Now is the season when you must keep your car locked; otherwise your neighbors will be filling it with surplus zucchini and tomatoes." True, but tasty! Joanie continued, "But where did you see God in the face of people?" Ah, yes, there was the cute little boy who saw his teacher from last year and greeted her with such delight when she still recognized him. There was my great neice who on the first day of nursery school emerged saying, "Look my arms and legs are longer now that I've been to school."