BEING FITNESS by Celeste Graves
BEING FITNESS by Celeste Graves
Blog #1 The Cleanse 1/23/2016
For the past five days I have been on a liquid cleanse, masterfully put together by Susan Ray of Vitality Foods. What truly makes this an “adventure” is that I am also one of Susan’s drivers, the delivery person of the six-a-day juice/blend offerings to the other cleansers participating this week – around and about Ulster and Dutchess Counties.
I arrive in my little red Saab at Susan’s cottage in Rhinecliff at 6:30 am, load up my trunk and car with baskets of delicious juices, soups, broths, and nut milks, (I call them all tonics). The baskets are carefully iced and packed for travel, with old fashioned cloth napkins on top, making them appear invitingly more like a picnic than a “fast”. She also includes instructions, words of support, and inspirational and educational quotes for each day.
A typical daily menu runs something like this, with variations each of the five days:
Fresh Start, (green, gingery, alive! It talks to ya.); Citrus Flush;
Potassium Broth, (winter only); Creamy Zucchini; Potassium Broth 2; and Almond Milk.
Everything is extremely tasty and nutritious, and full of light; and, I would venture to say, with the best of Susan Ray. And that is saying a lot. This is a Buddhist practitioner/meditation teacher, Green Goddess Kitchen Mavin, par excellence!
At this time of year, at that time of morning, I find my heart tenderly opening with the cracking of the dawn. Skies go brilliant, from orange to pink, to gold. All soft now, the daylight spreads over the landscape. My wonderment turns to joy, enhanced even more by the emptiness I am cultivating with this temporary lack of solid food.
Then, even as I deal with a GPS that won’t talk to me, road blocks that send me 5 miles around my original route, or customers neglecting to leave their baskets out for me on the final day, I can practice yeilding, steadfastness, and of course, mindful breathing.
Elegant, timeless breathing.
I like to embark on this adventure at least twice a year, sometimes more, if only to get to drive up, over, around, and through the rolling hills, valleys, forests, and farms of The Mid Hudson Valley. Cutting through a tight pass, I come upon a lake. Sublimely it reigns, benefiting all in its rural locale. I too feel its blessing as on I go, moving through time.
In winter the vistas are expansive and clear, revealing otherwise hidden cabins, mansions, caves. In summer I drive under canapies of magnificent, friendly trees. Together, we wave to walkers of dogs. (That, in winter too!)
When my deliveries are complete, I arrive at my teaching gig of the morning, discovering dried winter mud clinging to my pants, and that green juice has dribbled its way down my sweater. It is difficult to explain what I have been doing.
I am reassured to recognize that adventures in life do not end, at least not until they do. For now, they go on. I want to say, ‘even though I am no longer young.’ But is that true? I feel very, very young. Or maybe how I feel has nothing to do with being young or old.
It’s something else.
The following is a poem I composed last fall as I began my morning route, delivering for Susan. I wrote it down later. It was delicious to remember.
moan and grown,
with nearby roosters crowing.
A train is howling a haunting hello,
passing through the town.
A magical mist
meanders and floats,
spreading the morning with charm.
just as it should,
Eternal promises kept.
Rhinecliff, 6 am 9/18/15
For more information on The Vitality Cleanse, visit www.susunray.com