Yesterday I was cooking up a southern New Year's traditional feast: Collard greens, Hoppin' John, and cornbread. Hoppin' John is a mixture of rice and black eyed peas.
To prepare the beans, you must soak them in water until they soften and expand. Then you cook them with a ham hock so the beans soak up all that delicious, smoky flavor.
Checking periodically on the beans as they soaked I was struck by the process of transformation. As the beans take on water, they grow plumper, and eventually their seed coats begin to split open. In other words, they outgrow their "skin" and must shed it.
Noticing the beans, I reflected on how often I've outgrown my own skin. Each stage of life required me to shed my old skin in order to take on more of life's experiences.
Sometimes the shedding of our skin is painful, like a divorce, but we come out of every experience, good or bad with a fresh perspective. We are ready to burst out of one life to begin another.
This year will bring on many changes in our household. We will all be shedding our seed coats as each person hits another milestone in their lives. Both sons graduating, one from college, the other high school. My youngest finishes middle school and will begin her high school years. And for me, I must let go of each child as they shed their skins and grow again.
I hope that each of us soaks up all we can get out of life each day, and be open to bursting out of our skins in order to move forward.
Causes Annette Talbert Supports
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, RIF (Reading is Fundamental),
Hands On Foundation, Dignity U Wear, Girls, Inc.