This boy. This boy is giving me a run for my money. I mean something fierce. Something gurgles up inside him so deep and mad and unpredictable it scares me. And when he manages to get every last ounce of it out into the world, pouring it thick like syrup onto every surface he run his hands over he melts like butter. He drapes himself over me, or the couch, or the earth and I can almost see the relief fill his body. I know the confusion over a new brother never really settled in. I know the smashing of brothers in front and behind him make this journey a particularly difficult one for him. I know this age, this age, this age. He will come out of it on the other side. We all will. Because we have to.
But there is one place where his fury settles, and his fists unfurl for a length of time. In the forest. In the forest it seems, after the initial settling period, his little thick palm tucked into mine, he is so focused on the one foot in front of the other task at hand, his spikes in emotional temperature stay relatively even. So you know what? We hiked for 5.5 hours yesterday. 5.5 hours through thick brushy woods. Through mossy fairy kingdoms, and caves and bogs and streams. Up the entire length of mountain. Our feet were caked with mud. Our legs were weak as babies. Our hearts were completely, and perfectly settled. Still as morning water.
There is always an option with these little ones. An avenue I haven’t tried. It seems the wear them out through and through method is the most enjoyable for the lot of us these days. And I am all right with that. Of course, what links up arms with maximum physical exertion is keeping little growing bellies very, very, full. That too is something I am ok with. If it looks anything like yesterdays first pit stop up the side of Spruce Mountain, count me in. Warm zucchini banana bread straight out of the pan eaten atop a rock beside the sweetest little fluffy blondes you ever knew is possibly the best place in the world to enjoy such a treat. Even a hermit thrush was singing.
I was given this recipe from my mentor teacher during my student teaching at THIS wonderful school. How spoiled are they in Flagstaff AZ? A CHARTERED Waldorf school right at their fingertips? Bah. I am so impossibly grateful for my time spent there, learning the ways of these calm, methodical, beautiful teachers and staff. And of course, of course, for this recipe.
April’s Banana Bread
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbls. milk
3+ ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup nuts (optional, use pecans)
3/4 cup of shredded zucchini
Preheat oven to 350. Mix oil, and sugar and add other wet ingredients. Slowly pour in the premixed dry. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for an hour. Serve with lots of butter under the canopy of the forest, on the green, green grass.