Mmmmmm..... Creamy pumpkin soup, with chilli and REAL maple syrup (brought to me from eastern Canada by my outstanding son- in- law). It is interesting how my relationship with food changes, shifting gears from time to time, and then coming to a complete stop- Only to be resurrected again in a new disguise. 
A relationship with food? Many, or even most, people might find the idea of a relationship with food to be nonsensical. They (maybe you), might find themselves wondering what a relationship with food entails- isn't food for eating?
It's not that simple when you have lived the majority of your life using food as a hiding place, avoiding the painful 'now', and the scary past by focusing on food, or NOT food. 
And I find myself still hiding. Even as I unfold such deep and satisfying parts of my life, such as the work I am currently engaged with, other pieces of my life go underground for a time, and reappear, pulling with them strands of past lives that I would sooner not look at right now. The sometimes shaky present has its inception in the past. My core beliefs about myself, that I can't change, were grown into my structure, infusing my very psychology with faulty on/ off switches. They govern my responses to the world around me. 
I can't undo that hardwiring. What I CAN do is forge new neuro- pathways through creativity and life- long learning. This is more like diverting the information to a new feed, with more grounded switches. I continue to learn the ways to slow down my response- enough so that I can include the new information that may mediate my behaviour. 
Pumpkin soup- It matters. I feel so much more comfortable when I can spend time in the kitchen creating nourishment, for family, for friends, and EVEN myself. The pumpkin soup is almost exclusively for me, so the steps I took in its creation are loving ways of nurturing myself. That doesn't come easily to me. Nor is it a simple task to remind myself that I am worthy, too, of warmth and nourishment. 

It has been a long time since I last sat down to write- a lot of living has gone on in my life since then: I have lovingly deepened my 'grandma- hood', grown flowers, seen another incredible sunrise at the top of Haleakala, Maui, watched my daughter blossom with a babe in arms, walked the seawall with my oldest son, watched my youngest compete with fierce intensity, started my work at a new job as yoga teacher and art therapist, and of course, continued my own exploration of where my past meets present through art. 
I started with my discussion about pumpkin soup and my relationship with food because it was just 'there/ here' for me. I sat down immediately after having a small bowl of soup for lunch. I knew it was time to just start writing, and I could pull the pieces together after. I have created pockets of comfort and grace.
Now, the deep underbelly of living fully demands that I scratch a bit, or maybe massage, so that growth and blossoming can continue. 

And now I will do my best to pull the pieces together.

Some of the pieces you see were created as my expression/ response to the individuals I work with, others (resist painting) were the exploration of my own sense of stuck- ness. What I notice is the way my art, family, and life flow. There is a sense of peace- filled movement that feels so 'right' and necessary after a year of doubt and turmoil.
"A moment of peace is worth every war behind us." 
                                                          - Indigo Girls
Sometimes it seems the world has tried to make me hard- with a vengeance. 
My response is to continue to be as loving, compassionate and fully present to myself and to others as I can be. 
The pockets of warmth and grace that exist in my life, sustain me. I understand that I create those moments through hard work infused with every compassionate thought I can muster. 
On bleak days I reach out for love and support- and sometimes I make soup.

A long, cold winter looms, and I won't be able to grow flowers. I promise myself, 'out loud', that I will paint flowers when I can't grow them, cook with an eye to nurturing myself as well as others, and cuddle that gorgeous granddaughter of mine whenever I can. 

My life- long work of staying on the healing path, is unfolding now into the life- loving work of sharing, teaching, giving and creating. It is a full time job- loving and being present to what is, and I believe that we are worth it...
I am worth it!