Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chocolate Truffle Moments

I was cleaning out my studio space and came across what I thought was an old sketch book. It turned out to be my journal from my short time with the Peace Corps. One entry in particular caught my eye; I'll call it "Chocolate Truffle Moments." You will need a little background to understand my wording. I adore chocolate truffles and all their various layers, textures, colors, and flavors. I eat them very slowly. Probably way slower than you're meant to, as in, it probably takes me between 4 and 8 bites to polish one off. In other words, I savor them in all their delectable decadence. I let each morsel melt in my mouth, and focus on the flavors as it moves over my tongue. I even sit for a moment and continue to "taste" it even after I've swallowed it. Forgive me if this is too graphic, but I wanted you to get the full context of what I'm describing. I'm not just talking about an enjoyable experience. I would use bacon or lasagna for that analogy. I'm talking about a positively scrumptious and savory moment. For that, I must use the chocolate truffle in my imagery. So with that in mind, here is the entry beginning with a "Chocolate Truffle Moment" in Central Asia upon discovering the awesomeness that is a bucket bath in a sauna.

March 9, 2005 ...I found a new love. Showers are a barbaric thing of the past for me. Everything the shower implies is everything that I dislike: hurrying and wastefulness, and even besides that, there's no meaning in a shower besides getting clean. Let me tell you what God intended: bucket baths in a sauna. The smell of warm, wet cedar and a little bit of wood-burning smoke from the fire under the metal water bowl is sweet and relaxing. The water is as warm as you want it to be and there's no crowding. You want to sit down for a while? Go ahead, and don't worry about wasting water trying to keep warm, the whole room is warm! Spread out and shave your legs! And when you're done, dump the bucket over your head and let the steam roll off you. Leave the room in a billow of heat and feel fresher and cleaner than you ever have! It was a chocolate truffle moment for me. Then I though to myself, why can't all moments be chocolate truffle moments? When I was in the States, I surely didn't find my morning routine something to be enjoyed. But maybe this was what [Oswald] Chambers meant by changing the mundane. Why should ordinary events be downplayed? Why should they be precursors to the actual event? Can't they be an event in themselves? What am I doing? If it's not a truffle to me, I need to find a way to make it one. Do it differently...change my attitude...to find joy in the mundane and even in the fire. Life is a truffle and all the things that make life what it is.

I think this moment was doubly significant since up to this point, I hadn't washed my hair in over two weeks. NONE THE LESS. I am aware that as a mom, things get pretty mundane. Or at the very least, monotonous. But when did I stop being fascinated with my surroundings, enraptured with God's creation and the beauty of life? When did I stop...laughing? When did I stop taking in the breathless vistas of every corner turned? When did I stop relishing the moments past, savoring the moments present, and anticipating the moments to come? I have become BORING and BORED. I realize that as one approaches 30 and you find yourself married with two kids and car payments, you have to make room in your head for all that "responsible stuff." But golly-gosh-darnit, who let all the helium out of my balloons? Oh, it was me.

Well no more!! I am awakening to the fact that I don't have to just GET BY. I am completely allowing for those "survival" seasons, like those first months after having a baby, or the death of a loved one, or a big move. I know what it's like to repeat to myself, "Just survive today." But that is not and should not be the majority of my days. By God's grace I can live with passion again, and it's not because I'm expecting wild and crazy things to happen to me each day. It's because I'm resolving to appreciate, learn, and enjoy. (Just like the cute & tiny Brenda in this picture)

Be on the look out for more Chocolate Truffle Moments to come, and start taking notice of the not-so-mundane around you.