If asked, investigators of the art and science of happiness will say that one path to happiness is finding contentment in the reaches of one’s life, rather than chasing exhilaration. Fall, and all its peculiarities, transitions, and bustling preparations are a constant reminder of this philosophy for me. The streaking of rain across windows, a cup of tea, jazz playing softly, warm pumpkin bread; life in fall can be fully navigated between these simple, exquisite things. Today, true happiness appears between the ticks of the kitchen timer, in the light escaping between two dark clouds, the warmth of a familiar hand held tight. On days like this it is easy to want for nothing.
Gratitude. As with most things American, the Thanksgiving season can feel like more of a crush than a holiday. Commerce and media in recent years have launched a cacophony of thankfulness- a screaming 30 day trial of who can at once demonstrate both the deservedness and bounty of one’s gratitude. There is, it seems, an urgency to even this. So this year, I chose to hold my gratitude in silence, and of silence. This year, I placed my gratitude in long quiet mornings, hands held in still rooms, slow dances to only the rain’s percussion, and long-held looks of love and longing. There is great happiness to be measured in the open spaces of our lives, if only we would listen.
Shrooms. This is the time of year I love the most. I love the leaves, the arrival of the rains, pumpkins, and the excuse to drink hot tea all day long. But mostly, I love the mushrooms. I like the secrecy of mushroom hunting, that it gives me an excuse to go out by myself, at odd times of day, and in the middle of the week. I love the excitement of finding a blooming cluster, knowing that my hiking hasn’t been in vain. I love the necessary days of cooking, mushroom tacos, soups, and delicate sauces, the small of drying fungi permeating the kitchen. This part of the season appeals to the child in me, the little girl that likes surprises, scavenger hunts, and still believes in the magic… Read More >
Sun. This year, the leaves turned and fell before the rains arrived. Bright warm days persisted well into the rainy season, ignorant of tradition. It made for an exciting show. Crisp leaves, in startling shades of orange and yelow floated gently through light blue skies for weeks, dropping into thick crunchy piles neatly arranged at the base of trees. Summer fossilzed beneath our feet. Other plants, confused, continued to bloom and grow. Tomatoes stood in pots, still offering modest fruit and fat pumpkins could be lifted, clean, from thier patches. With the trees bare-armed and flushed, what started as a late harvest turned into a reaping, a culling of life from ashes. And now the rains come to wash it all away.