“Listen to your body, slow down, live in the precious now, love all that is.”
I read this daily meditation before getting out of bed each morning. I wake up, open one eye, grab my phone and put it two inches from my face because I cannot see. I’m sure it’s a ridiculous image: me, hair disheveled, in the fetal position, reading the words of a Franciscan Friar on my iPhone. But hey- whatever works.
The quote above was part of today’s reading. Father Richard Rohr was describing what he had learned during his two brushes with mortality. Over the past decade he has had a heart attack and a bout with cancer. What those experiences had taught him was to, “Listen to your body, slow down, live in the precious now, love all that is.”
So that’s what I was going to do today.
I got up, made my coffee and meditated for twenty minutes. I felt Zen AF.
After I meditated, it was time to walk Andy. I grabbed his leash, and did his patented Dolphin Jump. That’s when he gets really excited and jumps like a dolphin. It drives Jaimie crazy, but I think it’s cute.
Apparently the words of Richard Rohr had rubbed off on Andy, because on the walk, he was certainly living in the precious now. He was going so slowly. He was biting the grass. He was smelling the bushes. I was eager for him to wrap things up. I had writing to do. I’m in the middle of doing my taxes. My coffee was ready and there was a strawberry and banana pancake waiting for me.
Side bar- I’ve reintroduced an old tradition of mine. Pancake Sundays. I did it almost every week for the ten years I lived in New York. My sisters would come over. Adam Knight would stumble out of his bedroom in his robe. I always had a copy of the Sunday New York Times, and would play bluegrass on my Pandora Radio. The bluegrass stopped when my girlfriend Kristin moved in with me. She was from Massachusetts and bluegrass gave her anxiety. At first it made no sense, but eventually I got it. The pickin’. The banjos. It’s a lot to handle first thing on a Sunday. We switched to the Thelonious Monk station and everyone seemed to be happy.
About two months ago, I left my Sunday morning Yoga class and was craving pancakes. Since I had just exercised, I figured I could have them guilt free. So I went to Publix, got the stuff, and we’ve been making them every Sunday since.
Pancake Sunday. It’s an incredibly pleasant way to start the week. I recommend everyone give it a try.
It’s incredible how quickly we forget. How lessons and purposes come in one ear and out the other. Maybe the reason we read our meditations and listen to the self help is not so we don’t fall back into old patterns. Maybe it’s because when we inevitably do fall into old patterns, we have something to pull us out sooner rather than later.
I was starting to get bored with Andy’s enjoyment. I pulled on his leash to tell him it as time to hurry up. I was ready to start my day. Like I wasn’t already in the middle of it.
That’s when I remembered Father Richard’s words. The words I had read and forgotten all within the span of thirty minutes. I took a breath and let Andy do his thing. I noticed a bright green pine tree in the middle of a bunch of trees that had yet to start their bloom. I had never seen that tree before. All of a sudden the weather was less cold than I thought it was going to be.
I stood there, and for a moment, I was present.
Then I remembered the coffee and the pancake.
And I looked down at Andy, and told him it was time to go.
And here’s the recipe for my Strawberry/Blueberry/Banana Pancakes
A couple of cups of all-purpose flour
A couple of teaspoons of baking powder
Pinch of salt.
A table spoon of sugar if that’s your thing.
Flax Seeds. Ground. They're super good for you.
A couple of eggs. I do egg substitute because the things we do the chickens are super fucked.
A couple of cups milk. I do Almond milk because I have a moral compass.
Mix all that together.
Berries are super cancer fighting foods, so I toss some strawberries and blueberries into the mix. You can rock blackberries or raspberries if you like. I’m not the berry police, do whatever you want. I like to chop up a banana and throw it in there, because a bit of banana in my pancake is one of my favorite things in the world.
Take a long skillet. Turn the burners on medium and throw some vegan butter up on there and let that melt.
Then cook the pancakes. Don’t wait for them all to be ready before you serve them. Part of the beauty of Pancake Sunday is that everyone goes at their own pace. Save the last of the bunch for yourself. Because for some reason the pancakes always cook better once a couple have come off the griddle.
Eat while reading the newspaper of watching episodes of Schitt’s Creek.