learning is spiral

8.21.18 ~ garden flowers from our local farmers market

For many, learning is spiral, where important themes are visited again and again throughout life, each time at a deeper, more penetrating level.
~ Jerold W. Aps
(Teaching from the Heart)

For much of this summer I’ve been down in the dumps, cursing the oppressive humidity and climate change. After reading my complaining post on August 9, my kind neighbor invited me out to happy hour at Harbour House Restaurant & Bar in Mystic. I was apprehensive because bars often terrify me ~ too much noise and too many people. But I decided to go and give it a try.

We went at 3:30, before the crowds, and chose to sit outside on the deck, under the dappled shade of a gorgeous birch tree. The restaurant sits high on a hill overlooking “the best ocean view in Mystic.” There was a lovely sea breeze which made the humidity surprisingly bearable. I had a frozen lemonade and some chicken wings and celery. Delicious! It really hit the spot.

And then we were treated to a breathtaking sight. An eagle flew directly overhead with a large fish in his talons. We had a nice conversation with the young couple at the next table. I’m so glad I went ~ thank you, Susan! It was an afternoon I won’t soon forget. Sometimes the squeaky wheel does get the grease.

For me, learning is a spiral. Last summer I decided that leaving any one kind of food out of one’s diet was too extreme. After a year of eating meat, grains and legumes — everything and anything gluten-free — I was getting terrible stomach aches more and more often. Finally one night I had one that lasted for twelve hours, after a meal of gluten-free pasta, beans, goat cheese and veggies. My body was trying to tell me something. I decided to pay attention.

Over the years I’ve tried most of the diets from paleo to vegan and the one that made me feel the best was paleo. So, in the middle of July, after another flurry of research, I decided to listen to my body and go back to the paleo, eliminating beans and grains, even gluten-free grains. An “important theme” that I needed to “visit again.” It’s been about a month and I am feeling better. No more heartburn. My stomach has settled down and one of the things I remembered from the last time eating paleo has returned: I can go much longer between meals without my blood sugar dropping.

Now that Tim is retired it’s been fun trying new recipes with him, going to farmers markets and shopping together. We’re eating lots more vegetables. Tonight I went 5 hours between lunch and supper, and felt hungry but not desperate. What a blessing!

It turns out Larisa & Dima and Katherine will be moving back to North Carolina in September, which means we won’t be going to Ireland for the arrival of our new grandson. Our frequent trips to North Carolina will begin again. 🙂

8 thoughts on “learning is spiral”

  1. Did I hear “more trips to NC?”!! Yeah! Sorry to hear L and D and family aren’t staying on in Ireland. Come visit at the end of Oct., right when the heat comes on. That’s when the fall leaves are the best. Today the weather is nice, for a change. But it’s been so wet that it smells outside from things rotting. One nice result has been the appearance of all kinds of mushrooms. I’ve never seen so many varieties. Plus, Silent Sam was kicked out of UNC last night.

    1. You heard correctly!! I will probably be down there near the end of October and staying for a few weeks to help with the new baby so I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon! We had a couple of good days this week, and after a temporary humidity build-up for today, they expect four good days. I know that awful rotting smell but it does give the mushrooms a chance to thrive. 🙂 We saw the Silent Sam incident on the national news last night. Can’t wait to catch up with you!

  2. So it sounds like we’re kinda on the same page with our diet these days, Barbara. Glad you are feeling better. I am still in the reintroduction phase at times, trying a few bites of yogurt (or some quinoa this week) to see how the stomach reacts. It’s a process for sure. I like your analogy of the spiral.

    1. As a matter-of-fact, Kathy, reading your post in July about your digestive problems was a big part of my wake-up call. It started me connecting the dots (again, finally!) between my symptoms and what I was eating. I’ve been wondering about quinoa since it is technically a seed and not a grain. But I think I’ll wait a little longer. Let me know how it goes for you!

  3. What a wise post. Everything it seems IS spiral. Not just learning, but perhaps our lives, too: our past and present and future. Our end and our beginning.
    But, not to get to philosophical, I’m glad you’re feeling better. I was going to suggest you read Kathy’s blog about her diet issues, but I see you two are already sharing info. This has been a hot and humid summer, and the last few days have been blessed with temperate weather and cool nights. But…I understand we’re due for another heat wave ahead. Stay cool, my friend!

    1. Thanks, Pam. Those few days of low humidity and open windows were wonderful, weren’t they? Short-lived, but appreciated so much while they lasted. And now the clamminess has returned and the air conditioner is humming away again… Sometimes I think my problem is that I read too much. Researchers say inflammation leads to cancer and a host of other health problems, but the vegans say animal protein causes inflammation and the paleos say grains and legumes cause it. That’s when I decided the heck with it, I’d just eat everything, whole and unprocessed. But my body objected strenuously and here I am again, eliminating grains and legumes from the menu. You stay cool up there, too, my friend!

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