I'm afraid I wrote two posts months ago and have realized now they have been holding their breath to be posted--one on fall and one on winter, and here we are in January and I declare, I will let them live with all their iPhone photo glory.
The Slow Arrival of Fall
Living in NYC is a mix of bracing against the cold blasts of the subway in winter and clogging my nose in the summer. But fall, I breathe in, and it's that joy that we are in right now. I wish it could stay for months, but when the leaves tinge yellow, the end is already coming. Autumn is a wrapping-up, and what I really wish is that this close, the quiet light and the color that celebrate's the end of the leaf cycle, could stay. But it never is that way, is it? And is is this transience that makes us cherish, anyway.
Some fall iPhone moments from NYC for our mind memory pages here! So many roots from the CSA, and sweet potatoes forever. Sweet potato gnocchi is one of the few gluten-free pasta substitutes that can actually call itself a substitute. Plus, brown butter and crisp sage sauce.
Date nights! To our local theater for Oklahoma! To Barclarys Arena for Nick Cave. To amazing new restaurants that serve whole fish and hushpuppies, hand-formed pasta and hashbrowns.
To someone's new office to pet all the walls.
To Soho, to shop for a trip, to feel the sky among the buildings, to walk into stores just to look.
A long walk getting lost in Prospect Park, only to walk ourselves to somewhere almost familiar, and then back out. Gathering bright glimpses along the way.
The Coming of Winter
The forecast yesterday was for drizzle, but instead, the first few flakes of snow came meandering down as calmly as if it was intended. They sparkled. How brave. Here in Brooklyn, the grocer and hardware, bookstore, Italian restaurant and optician on our block are lit with little lights, and jingle when you walk in. Walker carried our 9 foot tree home last week, only bruising his wrist slightly. I carried the wreath, which hangs only a little lopsided on our door. At night, we watch films that remind us again and again that joy is not from things, but from love, and this time of year is to celebrate the great love of the world.
I took a rare in-NYC vacation day today, and filled my bags with short ribs and poaching wine. I went up the street to the indoor baby gym with my friend and watched toddling and sliding--great joy. I walked down the twinkling street, past the wreath stand and tree place, with a Winter Oat Latte in my hand (a magical combo of apple cider and oat milk), and I felt . . . happy. I saw a headline this morning for the joy of not being efficient, and this is extremely hard for my metabolism, trained by years of running for the subway, to comprehend. But this is also the time of year for time just wandering the streets, looking at the cold transformed by tiny lights. I'm trying to not plan every minute with lists.
Perhaps all of this calm is because we were transported just last month for a 16-day trip to the place of our dreams, Patagonia. Being outside, feeling the spring ground thawing under our hiking boots, watching the landscape roll and spike up in sharp, icy peaks--it calmed me inside. It is the same calm I get watching the river shade itself the color of the sky outside our apartment--right now, silver periwinkle with streaks of gold. It's been 8 winters in this little, cozy apartment, a few stories up from the street. Every night I watch traffic across the river and it lacks the emotion without the sound. From here, the cars seem slow, white and red blinks at each other. It is home, and here, now, is happy.
This weekend (in December)
is was Walker's birthday and again, here is love and it's transforming power. Love makes me feel at home each day in a city that is too big for me even to look up at so often.
And a New Year!
And here I am in January. The pine scent is still here, the branches aged and sharp-scented. After a wonderful Christmas with my parents and brother's family, we flew to Minnesota for a white Christmas, and then to Arizona for hugs with my sister's kiddos, the zoo,
lots of time with the saguaros and boulders,
and that dry, toasted scent of the desert, thanks to a lovely trip with my in-laws.
My goal for 2019 is to slow down, feel the wind, even if it's the cold one off the river as I come home with dry cleaning hangers digging into my arm and a bag of bananas in my hand. A few more posts coming very soon on our winter travels!