The Blue Cornflower Effect

by moonwatcher on November 3, 2012

The restoration of the flower beds shown in my previous post yielded this surprising beauty a couple of months after, in late October, a time long past when this sort of thing is what’s happening in that particular flower bed:

I have not seen cornflowers in this bed since it was full of them the summer before my son was a senior in high school. He is now 27. But the great digging and weeding and feeding the friend I affectionately call “my garden accomplice” and I lavished on it this year and the Indian summer weather we had in October must have awakened some long dormant seed.

This beautiful blue swirl about to open assures me it’s never too late to bloom, no matter how long the impulse to do so has been waiting. And reminds me of a time in the first months of eating this way when I was sitting at my own table and felt that blooming in myself, and knew to trust it. Here is how that moment of epiphany began to swirl open its petals to the warm light of continued healing:

“One physiological example I was quite aware of in the first months of the diet was a time Dear Friend A had come over for a visit and Dear Friend B also stopped by for the duration of a meeting he had dropped his daughter off at. It was evening, and even Dear Friend C had called before Dear Friend A arrived, so that I had not finished my dinner when she arrived, and was sitting at the table with her while finishing it, when Dear Friend B also arrived. (I sometimes refer to this phenomenon as  the “airport terminal effect.”   The house can be quiet for days; then all of a sudden a handful of people from distant points converge in my space,  usually calling and arriving simultaneously.) To sit there at the table and be able to eat AND talk AND smile interchangeably without flushing or having acute facial nerve pain felt like a miracle. But it was very real. Ironically, as I was noticing this shift, the subject of the conversation was the aches, pains and health troubles of the other two friends, and how getting older just brings it all on. While I, supposedly the “sickest,” sat there noticing this remarkable improvement, which I mentioned, though the significance of it can only be truly felt by the person who has experienced the acute pain when trying to laugh or smile in conversation, or uncontrollable flushing and pain just as the result of the nerve stimulation in the face from the effort of chewing. What I did not mention, or know how to mention, was this intuitive flash of compassionate knowing, that I had, at age 52, fundamentally changed the direction my physiology was going, just through the way I was eating, and so instead of being able to commiserate with them, I was certain at some cell level I was recuperating and healing, not sliding toward an inevitable demise. Didn’t want to gloat, that wouldn’t have been the point of it anyway, but it felt so profoundly true all I could do was sit in myself and respect the awareness, as encouragement for it to grow.”

So trust yourself when you start to feel good. Even if it doesn’t show that much on the outside. And stay with this way of eating. We are all works in progress. There is no statute of limitations on when dormancy might open into bloom.

Here is the same blue cornflower continuing to open on November 2. Despite the fact it had been snowed on the week before.

 

Maria

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 narf7 November 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Nothing like a flower out of season to give you pause for thought :). A wise and timely reminder that health is in our own hands. What we choose to do with our bodies is up to us and if we feed them well and nourish them completely, saturating our cells with positive life force, we are doing God’s work :). Your little cornflower shows us just how tough things can be in the face of adversity…resisting the frost! What a brave little annual :)

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2 moonwatcher November 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Hi narf7,

Thank you for your lovely comment. Here’s to brave little annuals.

Maria

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3 Lynne Nelson November 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm

That one is just beautiful Maria- :)

Thank you

Lynne

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4 moonwatcher November 3, 2012 at 8:17 pm

You’re so very welcome, Lynne. Thank YOU for reading along. :)

Maria

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5 Sew Wildflowers November 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm

It is like when I saw a butterfly on December 31. So glad you are blooming.

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6 moonwatcher November 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Thank you, Sew Wildflowers–

And how cool is that to see a buttefly on the last day of the year

Maria

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7 LuluZ November 4, 2012 at 5:35 am

Moonwatcher,

I read about your blog on Susan’s page and immediately abandoned my recipe search to read this post. Thank you for the inspirational note. I look forward to reading along as you continue to grow and heal :)

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8 moonwatcher November 4, 2012 at 8:26 am

Welcome, LuluZ–thanks so much for joining me. I am glad you are looking forward to reading more!

Maria (Moonwatcher)

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9 Roxanne November 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

I find cornflowers are such a pretty blue. I am glad this hardy one got to grow again!

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10 moonwatcher November 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

Thanks, Roxanne. Me too!

Maria

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11 Laura November 4, 2012 at 10:01 am

This made me smile. Thanks. :)

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12 AmyLu November 4, 2012 at 10:09 am

You are beautifully expressing so many concepts. Thank you for writing!

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13 moonwatcher November 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

You are so welcome, Laura and AmyLou!

Maria

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14 Ellen November 4, 2012 at 11:14 am

I am just sitting here smiling! What you mention here is so vital to living with a chronic illness, even more so when you decide to fight it yourself. It goes beyond the idea of ‘never give up.’ The understanding of how the ebb and flow of living itself works has a profound effect on how we choose to deal with those currents.

Thank you, again!

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15 moonwatcher November 4, 2012 at 11:22 am

Hi Ellen,

I really like how you put this. It’s a very eloquently said, and true, too. Thank you, and you’re welcome, again! :)

Maria

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16 carollynne kelly November 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm

hi! I have been reading your journal on McDougall boards, and now here, I am , too, a gardener and love to talk flowers, plants etc. Wonderful to hear about your progress in healing. I know 2 ladies with MS and one is advanced along, and one may be getting the diagnosis… either way, I truly admire you. they both know of how I eat, and that I have cured my NAFLD, the fatty liver, with plant based, whole foods diet. I am so glad that you are finding some relief of your symptoms and leading the way to health for others.

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17 moonwatcher November 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

hi carollynne,

Thank you for joining me here and for your kind words. It’s nice to have McDougall friends along. :) Also nice to know that you also are a gardener and love to talk flowers, plants, etc. I never get tired of it. :)

Maria

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18 Chokyi Dawa November 5, 2012 at 3:04 am

Nice to meet you Maria,
Wonderful to hear your health is returning. My garden has been a life saver, being able to connect with the earth by planting a seed that becomes a plant that nourishes my body and nature by returning the peels/trimmings to the soil. I just finished a 8 week MS plant based diet and lifestyle program at OHSU based on John McDougall’s Starch Solution. It was a fantastic program. I lost 21 pounds but still waiting for health improvements. Thanks for your story, it is encouraging.

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19 moonwatcher November 5, 2012 at 7:32 am

Welcome, Chokyl,

It’s very nice to meet you too. Sounds like you are a gardener after my own heart. It’s so healing for me, too, to be connected to the earth in the way you describe. Thanks for sharing that you just finished the program at OHSU. So many of us are eager to hear the final results. I am so happy to know it was positive for you and that you lost weight. That can only help everything, however indirectly. I hope with more time on the plan you’ll see more visible health improvements, too. I’ll be continuing to share how over time I tweaked that general Starch Solution based food plan into a more strict sub set that works for my own needs. I believe you will find what works best within it for you, too, as time goes on. I hope what I write helps you in some way on your own path to stay with it. Thank you for joining me. I am honored.

Maria

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20 Jeanie November 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Hi Maria, I have Fibro also, 4 years now. Vegan too, just truly restarted in earnest about a month ago. I am now starting to feel a small bit of a difference but a little afraid to believe in the hope. I’m sure you understand what I am saying. I also have a very arthritic left ankle but yesterday spent a delightful fall day out with my husband exploring Woodstock, GA ( we are new to the state) and walked a lot without my cane. Paying the price last night and today with pain, but it was worth it to be “aired out” once a week! Gardener in my heart but not yet in this GA yard, I loved your post. So nice to meet a fellow traveler. Peace, Jeanie

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21 moonwatcher November 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Welcome, Jeanie, and thank you. “Gardener in my heart”; what a lovely way to put it and I know exactly what you mean. I am glad to know you were able to get out and have a delightful Fall day–that kind of day is well worth any pain we may have to recuperate from, isn’t it? And so glad that you have truly restarted your vegan journey, too. We will all believe in the hope together.

peace back to you,

Maria

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22 D'Ann November 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm

“So trust yourself when you start to feel good. Even if it doesn’t show that much on the outside.” Thank you for these encouraging words… I’ve only been on this journey close to two months, and not only have I not lost weight, but I’m often left confused and hungry, especially when I’m not at home and don’t know what I can eat while eating on the road. With two small children, this way of eating is extremely time consuming vs convenience foods, but I know in my heart, you, and all the others I’ve been reading about have stumbled upon something truly wonderful. Instead of griping and whining, I must count this knowlege as a gift and move forward, even if it’s slow going…

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23 moonwatcher November 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Welcome, D’Ann, and thanks for these words about your own experience and how my words are encouraging to you. Over time, you will read many posts here about the long haul and staying with it, and the value of waiting. On a meal idea note, I have recently discovered this blog and thought, with two small children, you might enjoy some of the ideas there:

http://kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com/

And here’s another one from the mother in a family of five who teaches full time and cooks meals on a budget:

http://vegandaytoday.tumblr.com/

I very much appreciate your sentiment about this knowledge being a gift. I agree. Trust the slow process.

Maria

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