Connecting The Dots

Discussing the threads of my own passions which have culminated in my work as coach, mentor, presenter in my own business.

Tired fields

Mary Johnson - Tuesday, April 30, 2019

We are off on a sojourn down to the US to visit our #2 son. We love the opportunity to take our time winding our way through new territory to the latest place Johnnie makes his home. Time in the car always give me space to think about things. You see things that can take you down different thought processes. 

Our route this time took us through southern Idaho. I was shocked by the conditions of the fields. Specifically the colour of the soil. Field over field, the soil colour was a cafe au lait. Light milky brown. Not dark brown and no where was the soil a rich black. Both my husband and I were taken back. The soil is tired. So very tired. I’m thinking it requires a large amount of fertilizer to produce the onions, potatoes and lima beans, etc. that comes of there. Yearly planting means the soil never gets to rest. 

Away went my thinking went to how I get when too much is asked of me. How I begin to get over done. Often I turn to caffeine and sugary things to get me through. Lots of us do that. Push our selves and use unhealthy things to get use through. Not great stuff to fuel a body. Struck me there are parallels with the fields that now our food. Is using artificial fertilizers better? What about forcing the soil to produce year over year without a break? This isn’t good practice. Certainly it’s not good stewardship of the land. 

This then got me contemplating the quality of the food I eat and serve our family and friends. Is it really good food? In looking at those fields I’m no longer sure. We are often told by dieticians and nutrition experts that you get all of the nutrients you need from a regular diet. Don’t need to take extra vitamins or supplements. Though taking or not taking a vitamin isn’t the issue. The bigger picture is how can we produce our food in a way that is less taxing on our lands. Once upon a time crop rotation and letting field go fallow for a year or two allowed the soil to recover. Certainly it’s not about feeding the hungry. We throw away an incredible amount of food! Now it’s about profits.

When you don’t see where your food is grown you can get lulled into a false sense of thinking all is well. That I can get any kind of food almost any time of the year. That this can keep going. The drive through that farming area was a wake up call that we are, on many fronts, pushing the boundaries of what we are asking of Mother Earth. I know it’s got me thinking, …… 

We will survive

Mary Johnson - Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Today is election day in Alberta. For the past (officially) 4 weeks we have had a parade of dire and dastardly things paraded out to us if we vote this way or that. It's been nasty. Disappointingly so. The larger container of our country has similar commentaries and  nastiness are shaping up as our federal election will be this fall. And with our neighbour to the south the long mad road to their election 2 years hence has begun. 

I have felt so over run with the negativity that I have reduced my news intake. So many opinions. News pundits in my face. Predictions of election interference. What are the real goods? My checking and rechecking does nothing to the change the rhetoric. It just has me worrying about things that may not happen. And no news before bed!! That's why a conversation yesterday with an amazing older woman went a long way to putting my mind and heart at ease. 

 A bit of background. Her personal history is marked with much trauma. I was taken back by the challenges she has faced. Survival is a strong thread through her time on this earth. Survival personally and now in her later years more broadly in support of the survival of our species as she put it. This has her take up a number of causes locally as well as provincially. She was quite clear that what she does may not make a difference OR it might. Her larger context is that it makes no difference who gets elected today or in the fall or south of the border. It might make some initiatives harder! Either way we will survive and meet the challenges of whoever and whatever shows up. We always do! I needed to hear that.      

Old habit, Another lesson

Mary Johnson - Thursday, April 04, 2019

With my website host getting out of the biz, I have been making steps to begin the process of shifting my website. With this I am pulling off material. Deciding what I'll keep and what I'll toss. So it's been with some surprise and delight I have been reading through old blogs. Heck there is a lot of good stuff there! And an edge. One that seems to have softened this last while. What's with that? I've been asking myself. 

Ah, ..... as I sit with this question I am reminded I'm off my center. That this time of hosting our son, his wife and new baby while their house is built has taken up more energy that I want to admit. I mean really, I'm a good person; can handle adversity with aplomb; am generous in thought and indeed roll with the punches. Well apparently not so much! What I am good at is denial! My old habit of 'slap on a cheery face and carry on' bit me in the bum and the pocket book. A cosmic 2x4 landed it's blow!

The telling story is one day a few weeks ago I was obsessed with doing my errands, washing my car and getting home while the place was empty to enjoy. When I say obsessed I mean obsessed. That should have been my first clue! Off I went to fill up at the PetroCan across the Henday. Now as an aside I have been filling up for years. It's automatic! Well after pre-paying for my gas I picked up what turned out to be the diesel pump. (Yup you know where this is heading!!). The regular price selection light didn't go and didn't go. What?!? I thought. Then it did light up! So away I go. Of course I now know that the pump I just thought was bent is made to fit diesel vehicles only. But I made it work! Let me say again - obsessed. It was when I went to pay it dawned on me what I had done. OMG! At that point my only thought was could I go the few blocks home to get it towed to have my gas tank drained. The answer to that question is no!

My car quit on the 87th Ave bridge. I was sick with my stupidity. Sick! Mega dollar signs flooded into my head. Shame filled my psyche. But there was a car to take care of. With effort I slipped into that mode and did just that. When I was deposited back home to await the news of 'how much?', I saw myself as I truly was. Holding my own - just, weary most nights with my efforting to be positive if only to myself and just not prepared to acknowledge any of this. Ignoring the signs, and there were plenty, has put me into a painful situation more than once. Going back to my older blogs I saw a smugness that quite possibly I had this one put to bed. Apparently not! As is the case situations come around to give you another chance. Another lesson was in order, .....