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Sometimes in life there are things that we try to protect from one another, from each other, from ourselves. There are times when we have to make tough decisions and when faced with a no answer is correct scenario it becomes even more difficult. I am the type of person who saves everything. My mom had glasses and cups strewn all over our house when I was a child–not for cheerios–but for saving bugs. We didn’t kill things, we didn’t cause harm, my brother and I were taught to have a reverence for life and life it shall be. I have tossed this idea over and over again in my head because there is a strange dichotomy that forms when you are a chef. Things wildly encompass you when you have the 2am revelation of a new dish or the 6am pounding headache when you know you worked (and played) too hard. You are faced with life and death at all forms and we have chosen the path that faces it. We don’t refer to our protein as “meat”, it is an animal, and we call it young lamb, cow, pig, chicken. Those who are faint of heart and put a hand to their ear well–you shouldn’t be eating young lamb if you don’t want to understand what it is. For me, solace came this summer in tending to my small garden. I never really knew that my green thumb was a hand indeed and my small plot turned into love. My most favorite was my arugula plants. No offense meant to Lettuces of Other Varieties but this was the red dress in the room. I clipped the arugula daily, we had dinners composed of frontyard greens almost every night, and the spark was lit as I had something to prune. This arugula fed me, my husband, and our child every night. Imagine what would happen if we all had gardens. The biggest and most obvious caveat told to me by fellow gardeners was, “don’t let it bolt, then you’re finished! Don’t let it flower!”. Plants and herbs need to “go to seed”, which is what happens when they bolt. It’s kind of a gardener’s worst nightmare because production stops when that happens. However, it is the plant’s path. This is why you have to get out there every day and trim the leaves if you want to eat. Be the deer in the forest, the rabbit in the field. We have fancy scissors, they have teeth. Today I came home from a very hard weekend filled with choices, a weekend where no one was home to tend to my garden. I was greeted by a flower in my arugula bed. It reminded me that sometimes we should let things go, let them all go and find peace in our solutions, convictions and decisions because in the end what carries you will shine something brilliant.

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