The Nourishing

A text from someone who loves me said, “I hope you’re getting to do some of what nourishes you.” I was. I had just had a good root through a couple of charity shops that I don’t get to often. In the end I bought nothing, but there were a couple of things that made me pause: some heavy cut glass bowls; an ivory lace table runner that could be cut up for bunting, but was stained and they wanted €2 for it; a tarnished silver bowl on a stand, with an engraved handle that would not stay up; a black faux fur jacket with very loose buttons that, although a steal at €3, was just too big, sadly.

“I’ve got everything that I need…” sang through my head as I put things back. Yet the hunting was a bit of nourishment all the same.

As the text came through I was cycling slowly up the long hill from town, into the gusting wind. Yes, another nourishment, more body than soul, but still, a bit of soul.

That text got me thinking: what nourishes me?

Writing? Yes, it satisfies some of that urge in me to create, but frustrates too. (And there’s a post coming up about what nourishes my creative drive.) But the non-art part of my life needs those charity shop moments (best if shared with a like-minded soul!).

The Phoenix Park, plenty of room to breathe.

What else?

  • Baking a cake that turns out, that people take seconds of.
  • Sitting in front of a fire. With a crossword. And a Guinness or a coffee.
  • Sharing a meal and conversation with friends or family.
  • The fresh air of home.
  • Blue skies in Ireland.
  • The heavy scent of a Vancouver Island forest on a hot day.
  • Walking in the Phoenix Park, followed by a visit to the Tea Rooms.
  • A winding road ahead of me.


A cake that turned out! Chocolate brownie meringue cake, with chocolate coconut cupcakes (left) and blueberry almond cake with passion fruit drizzle (right).

I am administrator for a charity that works with people affected by HIV. We see a lot of pain and regret and disappointment – we see joy and celebration, too, don’t get me wrong – but days can be marked with grief and despair and the folly of ‘what ifs’. We encourage each other to see the beauty around us: some lovely piece of architecture; the leafiness of a park; the movement of the canal beside a busy path. Paintings, music, wonderful coffee are all on our doorstep and we remind ourselves to seek them out, and to bring our clients with us. Other times we recognise the need to get out of the city, away from familiar streets, and into the other beauty that surrounds Dublin. We call it respite, and it is a valuable resource in the lives of our families and people, and for us, too, as we share the burdens and the dust of the road.

Nourishing the heart; nourishing the art, of whatever you do. It’s all necessary for the health and vitality of us. What nourishes you?


2 thoughts on “The Nourishing

  1. What nourishes me? I love reading a real book made of paper… picking produce from my garden to use in the kitchen… walking under beech trees… driving and singing to the radio… spending time getting myself ready for the day… sharing stories with other mothers about our imperfect lives… laughing with my loved ones. Thanks for asking and sharing yours! N


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