Our CSA farm had the nerve to send us shelling peas. I’m up to my neck in laundry, I can’t figure out how to get the stink out of my cloth diapers, the dust on our blinds and shelves is starting to look more like a health hazard than a nuisance, I’ve got a work deadline to meet, I can’t remember off the top of my head the last time I washed my hair, I think I’m having an identity crisis, we might even be moving (!) soon, and they sent me shelling peas. A big ‘ol bag of them, too, and I’m pretty sure there are more on the way in the coming weeks. They sat in my fridge for a good 5 days until, realizing that the next delivery would soon be upon us, I grabbed the bag and heaved it out onto the counter with a sigh. Who has time for this?
Standing in silence, I began the tedious work of opening each little pod and extracting the peas within, collecting them in a little bowl to later cook for a salad. The pace was slow, and efforts to hurry up resulted in jittery fingers and peas rolling across the counter and onto the floor. Gritting my teeth, I looked around for an out: Cadel was playing well by himself, tossing a ball and tottering around; Will was soundly asleep on his bed in the corner. I sighed again and directed my attention back to the work at hand. Several minutes passed. And then something completely unexpected happened — my annoyance gradually began to fade, replaced by a fascination with the beauty of each individual pod. I noticed the intricate pattern of veins that became apparent when the light streaming through the kitchen window caught one of the translucent green shells in my grasp. I paused and leaned in to examine this: a tiny stained glass window. How had I never noticed this before? I was so struck by the loveliness of the pods that I even stopped to take a picture. Then I began to give my attention over to the shelling sounds my fingers were making as I plucked the pods one by one: first the snap of the stem, then the quiet unzipping of the two halves, the delicate popping of the shell opening, and the barely perceptible pitter patter of peas falling out of their shells and onto the growing green pile before me. It was like a tune, repeating rhythmically: the chorus of the peas. The bottoms of my feet started to burn from standing in one place but I felt rooted there, not wanting to move for fear I might break the delicate bubble of the moment that contained me. I heard something stir behind me and turned my head to see Cadel methodically unraveling a roll of toilet paper. I smiled and turned back to my work, surprised at myself. For the time being, peace had found me.
How good it is to be found.