Signs of Life

okraSo, my blood sugar has been weird lately. Not to panic. Nothing a cantaloup and an okra hasn’t helped with. I started finding myself getting a little strange early in the day. A little shaky, a little disoriented, and oddly, and the most disturbing, quite angry. Little things were setting my blood pressure flying high, making my blood boil. And I do mean ridiculous little things. And that’s not the guy I am. I’m a tolerant man. A simple man, a live and let live, let each to their own sort of person. A compassionate guy. Fits of aggravation just isn’t my style.

I noticed these moments pop up when I noticed the weight loss. And I am fully aware of how powerful food and stress have over the body.

I had this routine prior to recently where I woke, put on my boots (yes, in my boxers, boots on….long story)….and make coffee. While coffee is making I start knitting. Coffee ready? I grab a cup and get back to work. Coffee. Sit. Knit. Coffee. Sit. Knit. Lunch! Water. Knit. Sit. Water. Knit. Sit. Dinner! Coffee. Knit. Knit. Knit. Slouch. Sleep.

I was talking to my friend Butch who questioned my blood sugar level and said, “you don’t consume any sort of natural sugars of any kind. No fruit. No sugar even. Your insulin is probably crazy, making YOU a little crazy.”

Beans and rice are great….but other things the body needs are missing. So I grabbed a cantaloupe.  I’m fond of that melon. It was expensive, but I felt I needed it. But, I felt there was something more to it.

If you read one of my previous posts, you’ll see I started a little garden with my little 10 foot patch of backyard and had planted some squash and okra. So, for the past week, I’ve developed a new routine that seems to be working for me. I wake, put on my boots (some things won’t ever change), get the coffee started. Stretch. Coffee ready? Grab a huge cup, go outside and pull weeds out of my stretch of dirt. The air is fresher. The sun hitting my skin is invigorating. The toil of the soil handing me a sense of nurturing need. That little seed, that little life down there needs me to give him some care. I grab a few chunks of cantaloupe and a glass of water. I sit and begin to knit. Lunch! I go back to my dirt. I pull more little relentless blades of grass rushing to be met by the sun. I go back and knit. Dinner! Thunderstorm. PERFECT! (I don’t have a garden hose, nor a spicket outside so I’ve been watering my little patch of soil with one glass of water at a time).

My stresses seemed to drop, my blood sugar seemed much better. I wasn’t as mad in the head. I wasn’t so aggressive. I felt like myself. I felt like the man I feel I’ve always been. Kind, nurturing, compassionate, caring….hopeful, faithful. And then this morning I went out to pull my morning weeds in my underwear and boots and there…..just there, peeking up at me boldly through the dirt was the birth of my okra plant. It was mighty, it was proud, it was healthy and brilliant. And it seemed to say, “thank you.”

When Kara came round to pick me up for our run to the post office I asked her to take a picture of my little okra popping up proudly. I again, learned something from this. Your actions, your hands, your days, your moments can bring one of two things: signs of life, or moments that lead to destruction. And it took one little backyard garden okra to remind me that everything you do has the potential to bring forth something real and true…and that inaction can bring nothing at all. But, what’s more…you cannot FORGET that power.

So, I’m sitting back now, ready to knit more teddy bears, remembering that every action these hands make can bring something real and true to the world.

I still have a few of these big teddy bears I plan to do. Then this little guy will be retired.

…ok, one more last peek at my little okra. I’m awfully proud 🙂



  1. Fantastic! My Uncle and Aunt live in Oregon and during the long gray winters, they were having issues with no sun. So they purchased a fake sun maker to help them with the depression and the need for vitamin D to come through. So, being out in the sun, taking care of your little garden, is good for you, in more ways than one! Have a great day! Enjoy your okra as it grows and is joined by the squash plants also!

  2. You should try taking chromium once a day. It will help regulate your blood sugar. Im hypo-glycemic and Im supposed to eat several small meals throughout the day, but really….who has time for that? So I take chromium, snack on granola bars and bananas throughout the day. It has made a big difference for me…of course I love the fact that it helps to suppress the appetite and I am now losing weight. Down to 160 from 175+ 🙂 Gotta love that!!!

  3. I love to watch things grow and get super excited when a flower blooms…it’s like a breath of fresh air. Keep an eye on the blood sugar…..try adding some nuts (almonds, etc) for protein and it really helps it a lot!

  4. I am glad you got it sorted, I am diabetic and hate having to be aware of my food at all times. I am also growing more this year, I know I am late but we had such a late spring here they should still grow fine, most will be due Just as I go away for summer! luckily my next door neighbour who lives all things grow is retireing next week and has the summer planned at home! yea he can water my poor plants! Have peas, carrots and lettuce in, the growing season is limited by time here, the snow fell until end of April, and may be as early as October, depending on the temperature, and we like snow, as it gets too cold to snow up here, and we go down to minus14C in my garden! Your Okra looks good! did you not have squash too?

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