Dancing The Wheel In January

2021-01-19_Dancing the Wheel in January 00 © Stefanie Neumann - #KBFPhotography: Das Bild zeigt eine weiß leuchtende Schneeflocke (Teil einer LED Lichterkette) vor dunklem, schwarz erscheinendem Hintergrund. - The image shows a white shining snowflake (part of a LED light chain) in front of a dark, black appearing background.

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Dieser Blogbeitrag ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar.

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Now that the Magi have reminded us of the light of knowledge on 6 January, it is also slowly getting brighter outside again.

Recently I also learned that further the Three Wise Men are reminding us that body and mind can trust the soul because the soul knows the path and knows that this path is protected.

This idea touches me deeply and I find it most timely, especially in such difficult and often confusing times as these. Instead of despairing of fear or even denying reality altogether, we can face both – our fear and reality – trusting that if we stay connected to the big whole, we will find a solution, a path out of the heaviness and confusion, into the light, the lightness.

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In dark times, I often find my path out of the heaviness and confusion by reflecting on the very simple, everyday things. About this I already wrote something last week.

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In concrete terms, this means, for example, that I notice the urban nature around me and enjoy it, even if I still hardly get out at the moment.

Thus, a female robin visited me the other day. In keeping with the distance rules, Ms. Robin settled on the balcony while I was inside watching her through the window pane of the closed balcony door. Ms. Robin looked around in two of the larger flower pots and then sat down on the balcony parapet before moving on with a friendly greeting. This was a particularly pleasant experience as it is usually the male who visits us and we hardly ever get to see the female. What a joy that I was now able to meet both of them!

Another day, I was standing in the open balcony door in the late afternoon to enjoy the beautiful sunset. As I stood there, I noticed many crows flying over the backyard and the roofs of our apartment buildings. Eventually, I discovered that they were also watching the sunset – from the branches of the aspen-tree that stands at the back access road to our apartment block. So we all enjoyed the sunset together. This presented me with a feeling that until then I had only known from the Feldmark, which I have not been able to visit for almost a year due to the current situation, because there I have often experienced that the songbirds gather in the trees and shrubs at certain times to watch the sunset. These are moments of deep peace for me every time. How richly I was blessed that evening when the crows brought this feeling straight to my home!

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On another sunny day, Mr. Great Tit did the honours and gave a Spring-like backyard concert from the highest branch of the plum-tree in the middle of January. Magpies and crows joined in and even a finch came by to listen. What an inspiration!

In the afternoon of the same day, I came across a campaign that seems to be going viral on TikTok under the hashtag seashantytok. There, users sing and play different voices of the New Zealand shanty „The Wellerman“ and post it on the social network as an instrumentally accompanied virtual choir.

Different people from different parts of the world with different voices and instruments are singing together – just like the birds in our backyard. And here at home, without camera and microphone, we are singing along diligently.

This is also what it can look like when you are in sync with Nature.

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Now that the days are slowly growing longer again, we are also approaching Imbolc, the beginning of the Celtic Spring, which we celebrate on 1 and 2 February. Accordingly, we have started to cook ahead for the feast. Since I now know that I have a very poor tolerance to nightshade foods, some of our traditional meals on the holidays are out of the question. I already wrote something about this last Autumn.

So not only do we want to celebrate a holiday that traditionally honours dairy, eggs and honey appropriately with vegan dishes, now I cannot even eat potato dumplings with the boiled-beef-style tempeh and celeriac…

2021-01-19_Dancing the Wheel in January 05 © Stefanie Neumann - #KBFPhotography: Das Bild zeigt einen Blick in den Kochtopf, in dem Gemüse zusammen mit einer ganzen Sellerieknolle und einem Block Tempeh nach Tafelspitz-Art kocht. - The image shows a view into the cooking pot, where vegetables are cooking together with a whole celery tuber and a block of tempeh in a boiled beef style.

This is clearly a case for our #KBFMakingOf experimental kitchen…!

Luckily we are creative and have finally found a way to make parsnip dumplings. For Imbolc, we would love to see the colours white and light green on the table, and besides, parsnips are one of those ancient vegetables that were already eaten here in north-western Europe before the potato arrived.

As a basis, we use the recipe for pumpkin and sweet potato dumplings, which I described in more detail in the blog post linked above. The only difference is that instead of pumpkin and sweet potato, we use parsnips and add 1 – 1 ½ tablespoons of chia seeds and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder at the end. This is what our successful trial run revealed. The chia seeds help to bind the mixture a little better and the turmeric powder helps to cheer up the shade of grey, which the dumplings take on easily. Moreover, turmeric – also known as curcuma – is very healthy. Furthermore, our dumplings do not rise to the surface when they are done. Instead, we pierce them carefully with a knife to test them. If they slip off the blade easily and cleanly, the dumplings are ready.

Of course, as vegans and someone allergic to milk, we do not eat cheese. Instead, we will serve a vegan coconut melt in the style of cooked cheese, tofu in the style of feta and probably a sunflower seed spread in the style of cream cheese. The latter is even fermented, so it contains lactobacteria. However, I do not really like that with sunflower seeds as a base, so the cheese is only fermented for a very short time and then it goes right into the fridge with it. Tofu is a fermented product anyway, and the coconut melt in the style of cooked cheese is much healthier than regular processed cheese, because we can decide on the ingredients ourselves. For example, we make our own coconut milk.

We do not have any quarg and so far I have not really found a satisfactory vegan alternative. However, soy yoghurt also tastes very good and we even make it ourselves. Maybe we will even make a coconut yoghurt to celebrate the day.

We do not eat any eggs either, but we might make scrambled tofu, which we sauté with onions and garlic and season with herbs and a little turmeric powder.

We permit ourselves honey in moderation – as long as the beekeepers treat the bees well. In this way, we want to support those who help the bees and provide them with a healthy habitat. I used to get my honey from a beekeeper friend. Unfortunately, this contact no longer exists. But our organic supermarket now has regional beekeeper’s honey and the farmer’s shop we trust has it anyway – except that we cannot get there at the moment.

Naturally, delicious biscuits are also planned.I am always looking forward to this because we only bake according to this special recipe once a year.

When I look at it all like this, I am grateful for all the diversity.

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By the way, although I have put away most of the Christmas decorations and packed them safely, the electric Christmas lights will remain in the window for a while. We need them now of all times!

Yes, and so I am following the light at this time, focusing on the glimpses of light and thus finding my way.

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What helps you find your way in dark times?

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Are you ready to shine a bright light of awareness on the path of beingness, today?

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Much Love,
Steffi

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