I bought some fresh spinach this morning.

I got out of bed early, so I could make my trip to the little market before the crowd. You know the saying… the early bird blah blah … I love driving down the winding road to the small village, chit-chat with the locals, and find things I didn’t know I needed. Certainly a different feeling from when I was riding my bike in the trafficked roads of the fast Milano to get to the nearest supermarket. That’s in the past, though. Somewhere I don’t feel like going back to right now.

It is what it is.

My small jeep moves smoothly. The window all the way down, I let my hair fly into the cool wind. Eyes on the road in front of me, the tall cypress taking space in the corner of my eyes. The Himalayas are glorious, imposing, Shakti full. The mountains smile back at me and I feel their strength, as if they were hugging me. We are here for you, Elena they seem to say.

In full disclosure I did not want to get out bed this morning, because deep inside I hate to admit it, but I am lazy. That’s it I said it! I would rather not have to get dressed and go somewhere. I’d prefer to sit on my day-bed in my pajamas and devote my precious time to the things that fill my heart. Close the eyes and be. Chant, for instance. I love to invoke the name of the divine. Every single cell of my body comes alive when I repeat the sacred words. For the time my japa slides between my fingers there is nowhere I need to go, nothing I need to do, and all feels balanced, aligned by Grace. Or read. Yes, please. I glance over one of the five books I have started and I am eager to turn their pages with undivided attention. When, though? All of them neatly piled one on top of the other, the pencil and highlighter right by their side. They stare at me from the office desk and that’s when I feel a little pang in my heart. A small imperceptible tug, like a tiny thread pulled by an invisible delicate hand. When are you going to get to us, they seem to ask.

It is what it is. 

Let’s get it over with and let’s do what I gotta do. We all have chores, right?

I decide to start from the kitchen. The place I like the least. I read somewhere to get to what you don’t like first and just do it, so  you don’t have to think about it anymore. A weight off your shoulders. I follow this advice more days than not. There is a feeling of accomplishment, almost of liberation once you finish what you were dreading to do. Like when you are inside an air balloon, look down to planet earth and go ahhhhh. Although I’ve never been into an air balloon, so I’m kinda speculating right here.

I am domestically challenged. Particularly when it comes to doing stuff like cleaning counters, washing dishes –jeez luis…preparing meals, someone save me please. It’s a miracle I was able to feed four children who grew up well and healthy. One of them in particular has chosen food as his successful career. Can you believe it? Divine grace works in mysterious ways for sure.  

It is what it is.

The spinach in front of me are not going to clean by themselves. All right, let’s do this. I decide to practice what I preach and turn this boring task into a meditation. One breath after the other I pay attention to each movement my hands do. Where are my thoughts drifting to? I start going back into the past when I used to do the same movements like on auto-pilot in front of another sink. The one I stared at for many years, in another part of the world. There was a pool in front of me. The one I had designed for my kids to swim in during the hot summer days. Lots of trees there too, tall grass, flowers pots I had asked the gardener to plant, the Mexican gulf gently flowing at its natural speed. Don’t go back there, Elena. I warn myself. What is the point?

It is what it is.

One deeper breath. I am inhaling. I am exhaling. I shake my head, blink the eyes and I am back to looking at the monkeys playing on the branches in front of me.

I separate the spinach’s leaves one by one. Slowly, carefully, as if holding a precious gem. Neatly, I place them in the round orange bowl and run the water. Brown dirt flows into the sink. I need to rinse them again, for sure. I chop them into small pieces. All looking kind of the same, I am precise like that. A virgo at heart. The green sharp knife goes chop chop and now they are ready to be cooked. Olive oil sizzles in the iron pan made by the Tibetan man who fled Tibet to come to India and start a new life with his family of four.

It is what it is.

Garlic, and onion, a pinch of salt, turmeric, and pepper. I open the window as the sizzling fills my nostrils. The baby monkey stops for a minute to figure out what’s going on.

It is what it is. And I’m glad I wasn’t lazy, after all. 

Here is the moral of the story, it’s not it is what it is but rather, it is what you make it to be.

Thanks for reading ❤️