On Looking for and Finding Warmth

Today, when I saw Rainbow find a warm sunlit spot, I was reminded of her.

Many years ago, I went to a week long meditation camp during Fall. We had to do many exercises and discussions as part of the camp. Some of those exercises and discussions were done in groups and some were done in pairs.

One of my discussion partners had just gone through a divorce and was going through a very rough time. Since the meditation room was cold, she had a shawl on her at all times during the camp. I had my socks and coat on.

During one of our paired up discussions, she and I found each other and sat down on the floor facing each other. We held hands…as we were directed to by the coach.

We were asked to discuss what we were grateful for. As usual, I rattled on about the zillion things I was thankful for…..mostly the big things in life. When it was her turn, she said something like this – “Ambal, notice how you and I found this warm spot in the room to sit down and face each other. Notice how the sun is streaming through the window and hitting us as this spot and warming us. I am grateful for that warmth.” My heart melted as she said that. I didn’t nudge her, as I normally would have done, to continue on and talk to me about other things she was grateful for. I just sat there looking at her eyes. She looked into mine. As the moments passed, I could see and feel all her pain through her eyes. She probably understood that I empathized without knowing anything at all about her life or the painful divorce. Tears started rolling down her eyes. I acknowledged her tears with my own. She truly enjoyed and was grateful for that sunlit warmth (and the warmth that my heart exuded towards her) in that cold room that each of us had found ourselves in. We each had arrived there to learn techniques to cope with our life.

Since I had told the meditation group about my love for books, reading, my constant quest and unquenchable thirst for learning what doesn’t met the eye, the next day, she brought me Hermann Karl Hesse’s Siddhartha and urged me to read it.

I don’t know where she is now or what she is doing. I sure hope she went past that rough phase successfully and is happy.

Every time I see somebody find a warm spot in a room, I think of her and send her all my love. I hope she has continued to received that virtual love in the last 2 decades.

Post Thanksgiving Thanks

Thanksgiving break week started off very rough.

I thank you all for sending your positives vibes to Ari (who was sick and in the ER last week) and the family.I do believe those positive vibes work. Because, thanks to all the positive vibes, our week did progress well and we spent the last few days surrounded by the warmth and cheer of friends and family.

Despite my ever present restraint in indulging with food, I ate more than I should have….but, that is only because the food was served with so much heartfelt love and so much care. My SIL Rema’s mango-fruit based dessert, my new friend Uma’s elaborate spread of vegetable curries, and aloo paratha, my girlfriend Sukanya’s bhel and vadai (which reminded my so much of Mommy’s vadai) and filter coffee, my enthu friend CK’s pulav, my buddy Vijaya’s sweet potato casserole (which is queen-of-all-cooks Jyotsna’s and her daughter Ashlesha tried and tested recipe; thanks to Kaushik for baking the casserole in Rohit’s oven), my neighbor Rohit’s besan laddoos and more.

Now, as if all that was not a big enough list to be grateful for…just as I was getting ready to call his weekend a wrap, our next door neighbor’s 10 year old nephew (visiting from New Jersey) who became buddies with the boys….brought over some fresh guacamole that he had made. (side note: He had left the huge avacado seed in the guacamole and when I asked him why….he quipped that it was to prevent the guacamole from browning too quickly. I am just so impressed with kids…they know so much….stuff that I don’t know!)

If you think I ate so much that my stomach hurt…that is quite not right. Because, my stomach hurt more from the non-stop laughter.

I am so grateful for this break and all the folks who made it the most memorable Thanksgiving ever (I know….I know…I say that ever year. But, truly, it was memorable).

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too.

Now, the race to the end of 2017. Just few more weeks….and than we can all take a break during the holidays. Hang in there.

Sweet Baby Peppers Kebabs

With my questionable cooking skills, I should be the last person on this planet posting bbq/kebab pictures.

Anybody who has ever bbqed or made kebabs is rolling in their graves now. God bless their hearts.

Anyways, since it cold outside and bbq season seems so far away, I wanted to bring some warmth into our household.

So, I soaked these sweet baby peppers in garam masala, salt, pepper, olive oil and stuck it in the oven.

I hope the boys will like it.