Sunday, January 24, 2016

Natural Evolution

On any given evening, there are many conversations to encounter in our monastery's dining room. Some are a bit more "standard" than others, but the other night we had an interesting and winding conversation over dinner. Topics ranged from Golden Snow Globe, a website that keeps track of the snowiest cities in the U.S., to natural products. This began when I said, "I just finished using my first container of homemade toothpaste."

Now, I have been joining the all-natural bandwagon in a few areas of my life recently. Toothpaste was an easy next step given the ingredients I already had on hand and how easy it is to make. I just mixed equal parts baking soda and coconut oil; then, I added a few drops of peppermint essential oil, and voilĂ !

Last time I just mixed up the toothpaste in a tupperware container, but this time I got a bit more sophisticated about it. I put the ingredients into a sandwich bag. (This made the mixing process much more fun!) Then, I cut a small hole at the tip of the bag, and voilĂ  - a tube of toothpaste. (Which I then put inside the tupperware container.)

As my use of natural products evolves, as well as the storage I use for them (my shampoo and conditioner currently live in ketchup and mustard squirt bottles), I am gaining a bit more of an appreciation for what we can create ourselves.

I am also thinking of a quote I heard on a retreat once. Evolution is God learning. I love that one.

This morning I finished re-reading the wonderful book, Atchison Blue, about the journalist Judith Valente and her time at Mount Saint Scholastica monastery. In it she writes: In the Benedictine worldview, success lies in the process, the small steps of becoming.

We are all becoming something new in our own ways all the time. I am becoming a bit more natural with my use of homemade shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste, but more so, I am becoming a bit more myself in the process of becoming a Benedictine. Isn't evolution wonderful?

Let us walk in the holy presence.