I enjoy my job but I am stuck in an office all day and can’t see the sky. Straight out the window at the far end of the office, I see shops on the other side of a very busy road.
At my last job, in order to get some exercise, I used to walk every day for an hour around the boats in the nearby marina, breathing in the fresh sea air. That job was stressful beyond words and I used to take that walk in rain, sun or snow (actually it doesn’t snow here but that sounded good) to get away from the place.
Then I injured my knee and was told that walking was now my enemy (doctor’s words) but to use an exercycle five days a week for 30 minutes, which I did at home after work. The exercycle is inside, in a dark room where I need to turn on the light. So during the day, I used to go and sit by the marina for an hour to get my vitamin D and stare at the boats and dream of sailing off to far lands.
In my present job, I don’t have the same urge to escape and so I have to push myself to do so. We have summer here now and the sun is bestowing upon us the grace of her warmth and the days are pleasant. So a few weeks back I started walking again, but we are on a very busy road (read car fumes) and on a ridge so any time I venture down a side road, I start to go steeply downhill with the knowledge that I have to get back up that hill and that perhaps my knee is not up to that quite yet. So I keep straight on along this horrible, noisy road breathing in carbon monoxide and wishing I was back at the marina.
Yesterday, I read something about being more mindful in our lives so, while I was walking, I consciously noticed everything around me. And I saw this gate to my right with Wairua Reserve written on it. Now in our language a reserve means green grass, so I veered off the straight and true and walked through the gate and entered Paradise.
Paradise is relative of course. This area of grass was not freshly mowed nor bordered by neatly kept flower beds. In fact the grass hadn’t been cut in some time and the only flowers were growing wild in the grass – weeds they are called. I picked a bunch as I walked along trying to avoid the bees who found this a minefield for their pollen collecting activities and took the weeds back to the office. Others might not appreciate a bunch of weeds in a glass of water on a desk but they were priceless to me – a symbol of Paradise found.
But, back to my discovery. As I walked further into the reserve, the traffic noise fading behind me, a weight slid off my shoulders and I paused beneath the massive pines in the shade and drank in the ozone, remembering my childhood spent on a farm where I took such things for granted. Not another soul was using this small wilderness so I walked from one end to the other and then side to side, collecting weeds all the way.
Then I saw another section down a slope and up the other side and there stood a shabby kind of children’s playground but no kids. I ventured over and, glancing this way and that to make sure no one was watching, I sat down on a black rubber swing. At first, I just sat there wondering how it worked – it has been some time since I played on swings alongside my small son. Then my body leaned back and I soared the swing into the air as if I had been using a swing all my life. It felt exhilarating and a little wild. I spied a flying fox off to the side and slowed the swing and went to investigate. Fortunately, common sense overtook my euphoria and I didn’t actually jump on it to go sliding along to perhaps my death. I went and swung a little longer on the black rubber seat before wandering back the way I had come to the main road, still with not a soul in sight.
I arrived back in my office, feeling carefree, a hippy all over again. Then I saw a reflection in the mirror of my white trousers. The back where I had been sitting on the swing was black. Not even grey, but black! I had just walked all the way back through the town with a black backside without a care in the world. I guess ignorance is indeed bliss. And I had to stay in my soiled trousers the rest of the day, keeping my derriere angled away from the public eye.
But no one could take away my glimpse of Paradise.
None of that has anything to do with today’s recipe but I felt compelled to tell the story – who knows why.
For this nutritious and grain-free dish, I used the idea from a recipe at Fueling Endurance Performance and added a hollandaise sauce of my own. This is a rich and very filling and totally delicious dish. It gives you a hit of Omega 3, is high in protein and has the oil and goodness from the avocado. Adriano had a bun under his two (Dario is away) and even he said that he was full after two of them. My one, minus bun, was extremely filling.