Walking 28 miles

One of the walls in our dining area is painted with chalkboard paint. It’s been a fun way to write little notes and make semi-permanent wall art, but the other day I noticed Jared had drawn up this message.

I’ve often said here that I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I’d be a liar if I told you the thought of them still doesn’t cross my mind. How can it not, especially with blogs these days posting the things they accomplished in the previous year and what they are aspiring to do more of in the year to come. And I think that’s great. Maybe I’m just a little more introverted in my goals then some and feel no pressure to exclaim the next big thing I want to come into my life.

So when I saw the first thing Scott had written, it got me thinking. He wrote “eat pancakes with a fork and knife.” And coincidentally he did that that very morning. I thought about small changes. Changes that may seem minor, but without them the whole picture can sometimes be lost.

In the days that followed, I wrote down a few silly things in the same general category, but then I read about the Pilgram. A lady named Mildred Norman, who in 1953 set her New Year’s goal of walking across the entire country for peace. She left everything behind, except the clothes she wore and called herself Peace Pilgrim. But get this, she walked for 28 years. Twenty eight years people! And not once did she ever use money, she got by on the generosity of strangers. She was quoted saying the following:

“I own only what I wear and carry. I just walk until given shelter, fast until given food,” she said at the time. “I don’t even ask; it’s given without asking. I tell you, people are good. There’s a spark of good in everybody.”

I just love that. She has to be one of the most beautiful and inspiring people I’ve read about in awhile. She also said:

“The world is like a mirror: If you smile at it, it smiles at you.”

This is something I’ve always strongly felt in myself, but never could describe in words, but it’s so true! I feel everyday my strengths and weaknesses, but looking at the world positively and truthfully and genuinely being excited for each new day and opportunity is something I value in myself and others greatly. And I do believe that because I have this outlook I am surrounded by, and meet, so many amazing people.

Norman’s goal was considerably large and life changing the day she made it, but she followed through and spread her important message. I’d love to tell you that my goal is to walk from the west coast to the east in the name of peace, but with a loving husband, family & friends and life I would not want to leave behind, that is not my goal for the year. What I can do, is take away a smaller portion of the whole story; to smile more and see the good in everyone.

Broccoli & Black Bean Salad

Broccoli & Black Bean Salad / serves 4
The next day I used the leftovers inside of a couple of warmed corn tortillas and called them broccos; they were delicious. Add in some cheese at the end if you like. I think a nice feta or cotija would work well.

1 bunch broccoli, chopped into bite sized florets
1 cup black beans
1 avocado, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon white miso
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the broccoli florets and let simmer for about 1 minute or until the broccoli is bright green and slightly tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly under cold water or in an ice bath. Then place the broccoli in a large in a large serving bowl and add the black beans and half the avocado.

In a small food processor or mortar and pestle, combine half the avocado, miso, spices, and lemon juice. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt to taste and serve.