Today I’m eating with Sophie. We are chowing down on our favorite from-scratch buckwheat pancakes. Recipe follows.
This means that my kitchen is messy. I really try to be organized in my creativity but it’s impossible. There is flour on the counter, pancake batter drips dot the stove, and the whisk is resting gently against two cups that were clean. I’m sure there is flour on the floor that my husband will find when he gets home.
But the pancakes are delicious. Nutty and sweet. The buckwheat gives them a depth and richness you just don’t get in a box mix of buttermilk brand.
Sophie and I are enjoying our hotcakes at the table that overlooks our front yard. I see that my messiness continues from the kitchen right out my front door. I bought these bulb kits that were part of a fundraiser at Soph’s school. If you followed the picture on the box, you too, could have a perfect garden with flowers blooming in a planned sequence all season. I tried. I really tried to follow that picture. But, when you take the bulbs out of the box they all kind of look the same and I mixed them all up.
Then, there are rabbits and squirrels. They dig up the bulbs and move them around.
So, as I look over the syrup bottle and out my window, I see chaos. Instead of the tulips coming up in an ordered line by color along the border, they are sprinkled everywhere. Yellow, purple and pink all in clumps. We didn’t plant orange tulips, yet there are three under the Dogwood tree.
The daffodils were supposed to come up in groups. But, instead they kind of sweep around the yard in waves. Blue bells are EVERYWHERE. I can see that Black Eyed Susan babies from last year’s plants are sprouting in every crack in our walk. Are those hyacinths? Where did they come from? It’s a jungle that is out of my control!
In my neighborhood, people have ordered yards. They are mostly squares or rectangles of grass with circles in the middle. The circles are made of plastic or bricks and encase precise layers of daffodils, pansies, tulips and hyacinths. These are the yards awarded the “garden of the week” honor.
I think that is how I SHOULD make my yard if only I could. But, clearly I have some proclivity towards messy chaos which prevents such order in front of my house. I’m certain the neighbors are judging. They must think, “Really, would it kill her to come out and thin her plants?” Or worse yet, they see me out there working and working and feel sorry for me that all the plants run into one another in spite of my efforts.
I’m always thinking I SHOULD be more organized. I SHOULD be more detail-oriented. I SHOULD be not-so-messy. I SHOULD wrangle this all in-flat iron this wavy hair, clean up the raisin-cereal combo that decorates the back seat of the car, manage the constant dog fur that is stuck to my yoga mat, keep up with tweezing my Brooke Sheilds 1984 eyebrows, and edit the script I just handed in where I managed to delete the macros and format…you get the idea. I’m messy.
You know what happens when I walk past those “should” yards, though? I’m bored. They are nice but seem old fashioned to me. I realize I don’t actually want the “should” garden. I really want an English garden. I want to create a flowing, menagerie of plants where they overlap one another throughout the season and there is constant color.
Sophie and I finish up our buckwheats and head outside. It’s our early morning ritual. At sunrise, we go out and see what changes have come to the yard overnight. I go in front of my house and look up. Wow. This yard IS chaotic and yet so, so beautiful. Color everywhere. It’s like a party of flowers. I look around to see if anyone else is watching because I feel like I SHOULD feel some shame at my jungle but instead I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT. It is exactly what I wanted.
And, I got it without trying. If I had planned to have this color everywhere–would not have happened. It’s like magic. The perfect order of plants. They chose their spots. They created this beauty. In letting go of trying to get the “should” yard, my perfect yard manifested.
All those friggin shoulds. I don’t want to be garden of the week if it means not being true to my nature. I want the Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of a front yard. I want the Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of life. Goodness pouring from every crevice. I think it’s time to stop being so ashamed that my yard is not the same as the others. It’s time to embrace the glory of this mess. The glory of all my messes.
What shoulds are you feeling? What would happen if you embraced the glory of you instead? If you are thinking too hard, make some pancakes. You’ll feel better. *
*This statement has not been approved by the FDA but I’m still pretty sure it’s true.
The dry mix:
2 cups flour (we use white whole wheat, but all purpose is fine too)
2 cups buckwheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
To make the pancakes:
2 cups dry mix
2 cups buttermilk (we use almond milk with a splash of vinegar)
Combine the mix, eggs and buttermilk. Cook in a hot skillet, turning when bubbles pop through the top.
This makes enough for one smiley face pancake, round ones for two hungry grown-ups and some left overs for the dog.