Clouds are trying to swallow the dawn this morning. A storm is rolling in just as the sun makes its appearance. A few rays of light scatter into the condensing water vapor that is beginning to obscure the spacious blue sky. The light is transformed into a powdery pastel pink—blotches of pigment on a background of grey-blue. My grandmother always referred to this color as sky-blue pink. I like to think she is there dancing with the clouds.
Grandma had a wonderfully simple and straight forward relationship with nature. She and grandpa were share-croppers. They managed the farm for the owner and shared in a portion of the revenue from wheat, sorghum, milk from dairy cows, chickens, and a few head of cattle. They worked dawn till dusk most days and rolled with nature’s punches. Sometimes crops failed for lack of water or were pummeled by hail. Most of their cattle were once killed during a particularly harsh winter.
But I never heard them complain. Grandma made do with whatever food they could grow or afford to buy, and would can and store away anything extra. She did not whine about the flies that often plagued her cooking or canning time. She only laughed, and actually had a way of herding them outside with a dish towel. I am not kidding. It was quite a thing to witness. She used her fly swatter sparingly because of her big heart and kindness.
Grandma and grandpa were bodhisattvas to my young developing mind. I witnessed the possibility of living on the land according to nature’s rhythms. They had no irrigation and rarely used chemicals. Fields were alternately left fallow next to planted acres so the soil could recover. I worked alongside both grandparents in kitchen and field, milking and harvesting, observing and experiencing a life of compassion toward land and animals.
So, this morning while I eat my breakfast, Grandma is dancing in the sky-blue pink of my awareness. I offer gratitude to all life that has been given and all farmers who’s labor have brought this food before me. May I use this exquisite nutrition to be of benefit to all beings.