This is a story about coconut oil. And the weather. And about noticing. But mostly about self-nurturing.
In the morning after finishing my routine, brushing teeth, neti potting, etc., I make my way into my second bedroom-cum-closet. Sitting on the windowsill next to my jewelry holder is a jar of coconut oil that I have taken to using in lieu of lotion most days. Ayurveda prescribes oil to sooth and nourish the skin – warming sesame oil in the winter, cooling coconut oil in the summer. The oil has no harmful or bizarre additives. I could eat it – in fact, its the same brand we use in the kitchen for cooking. I feel safe using this jar on my skin; I trust in its ancient healing properties. I notice the way my summer-parched skin soaks up the nutrients and absorbs not only the external layer I lovingly apply, but the act itself. The additional time I spend taking care of myself is itself a nutrient just as necessary as any daily vitamin.
Most mornings the jar is pure liquid, almost translucent. Recently though I’ve begun to notice changes. A week ago the oil became opaque, a few days later pure white. Yesterday it thickened enough to warrant an exerted effort to remove enough to cover my hands. Today, thicker still.
As the days become shorter, the sky quieter, and the evenings cooler the coconut oil has responded by changing form. Each morning I take stock of the night before. Was it chilly? Did it warm? The oil tells the story of the passing time – overnight and into a new season.
But more than the oil, it is my life that is shifting anew. Each day I wake up realizing I’m a little different than the day before. And around me, my dreams manifest a little more real. No longer diaphanous, my dream life has become a mixture of events, phone calls, friends, meetings, and cups of coffee. I am aware. I take it in – layering my Self, the body I identify as me with gratitude for bringing the whole of Me to this moment.
Appreciation for the noticing and the existing. And the coconut oil.