The morning we drove into the hills to a small lake to watch the sun rise, a fog settled in, washing away all but the palest palettes of slate. It matched the hues of my heart, austere and somewhat sullen - not bleak - simply quiet and contemplative.
I know most people are off to the next holiday, but my mind has settled in a sea of gratitude. Thanksgiving morning, Dave and I shared these often overlooked things to be grateful for. (The template can be found at A Life Less Bullshit.)
Something my body can do. Climb. Isn't it easy to get caught up in how we'd like our bodies to change? More of this. Less of that. Stronger. Leaner. Better. Our bodies are incredible. I am thankful my body can meet the challenges and training I ask of it. A recent (minor) hand injury has been a poignant reminder to be grateful for a healthy body and both the amazingly grand and seemingly small feats it can do.
People who help without knowing it. Kathryn Budig inspires me as a woman who has achieved an enviable career, evolving her passion into a successful business, all the while remaining playful and utterly approachable. Kelly Starrett. Because he isn't afraid to challenge long-standing notions concerning human movement and athletic performance, he is revolutionizing the way athletes and practitioners approach both. To become a practitioner on par with his level of expertise is a worthy goal I've set. On a similar note, Jill Miller's expertise is not due to any particular school of training; her years of hands on experience and astuteness led her to evolve modalities and innovate practices to fill the gaps she perceived. Sheena Jibson reminds me often to get real, get outside, appreciate my life, and thrive in it. Justine Musk has recently crossed my radar, but I am deeply inspired by her writing and voice.
Something that changed in the past year. Do you ever stop and assess how you see yourself? Currently? It was deep into summer when I realized I had designated myself to little more than a burnt-out working student / overwhelmed, nagging wife. The descent into this dark place was more gradual and subtle than depression I had experienced in the past. I made quite the mess climbing out, learning several harsh truths and causing pain. If I ever want to lose my sense of self, I need simply to become complacent. Now I am feeding the aspects of my life that need to be nourished - using journals, vision boards, & my "life architecture" as constant reminders - in order to thrive.
A shitty experience that taught me something.
Close your eyes. Find love. Stay there. -Rumi
Heartache and love and passion have cut to the marrow of my bones. Tears seeped from every pore until I felt the hollowness of my skeleton. To feel intensely is a blessing, but we cannot isolate emotions. Heartache digs out your insides leaving behind a shell that feels too fragile to nudge forward. But within vulnerability is a sort of space and expansion. I had never known the ferocity of love and passion until now. Perhaps it is the fear of loss, but I am grateful for the awareness and vigilance it awoke. I see the strength, beauty, awareness, and commitment of the man standing next to a me. I am blessed.
I have enough. Time...to do the things I enjoy. We all claim at some point - maybe even often - there is too much to do and not enough hours in the day, but how much of what we do is truly necessary and how much of our time is wasted? Also, I have enough resources - be it monetary or emotional - to live a comfortable life, to feel supported in my endeavors, and to pursue my passions. My life feels pretty luxurious.
Buttermilk Custard for Two
Sheena made a pie I couldn't stop thinking about. I didn't want to hassle with a crust, so I tried my hand at a custard instead. I love the way the surface crystalizes subtly as it bakes. This is especially perfect with a glass of Lillet Blanc. I suspect orange pairs very nicely with this as well. Rice flour makes this gluten-free, but most flours should work fine. I prefer brown rice syrup as a sweetener because of the minimal amount of fructose, but feel free to use maple if you prefer.
zest from one Meyer lemon
3 yolks (preferably local or organic, mine were from duck eggs)
2 T brown rice flour
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup buttermilk
½ tsp vanilla
scant ¼ tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together zest, yolks, and flour until smooth. Slowly add the brown rice syrup while stirring. Stir in the buttermilk, vanilla, and salt. Divide between two 4-ounce ramekins and place them in a deep baking dish. Place on the oven rack and make a water bath by pouring hot water into the baking dish high enough to cover the ramekins halfway up the sides. Bake for about 1 hour until set. Carefully remove from the oven and place the ramekins on a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: ~1 hr