It's important, however, to remember that life is seldom all-or-nothing. I could abandon my annual strawberry jam making completely, adding it to the list of sorrows that I'm experiencing right now. Or I could just scale back - way back - to one simple, perfect jar.So I did just that this morning. I cut up about two pints of strawberries and brought them to a boil with a handful of sugar. While it was cooking I put a plate in the freezer and washed out an old jar with very hot water. When a jam dribble thickened on the frozen plate, I scooped the hot jam into the clean jar, wiped the rim, and covered it with waxed paper secured with a rubber band. And into the refrigerator it went.
There was even enough left over to gift a neighbor a small jar and to add a spoonful to that morning's yogurt. Even though I have just one jar and it will probably last a week, maybe two, I am not in despair. Instead, I feel great joy with this smaller offering. I decide that the next time I need some jam, I would do this single jar batch again, with whatever fruit was in season.
Sometimes you have to aim large and muster up the energy for an ambitious undertaking. And sometimes, the wise thing to do is keep it small and immediate. The trick is knowing when, of course, and also in not assuming that the larger endeavor is better, or more powerful, or more effective and the smaller is just a compromise. My unambitious, single-jar-plus-a-little-extra, small batch jam is perfect, just as it is, beyond compare. It stands on its own merit, warming my heart and dancing on my tongue: a sweet abundance, just enough to fill this moment completely.
Related: Weekend Meditation: Saying Yes
(Images: Dana Velden)