Tag Archives: Autumn

Dusken Sensibility

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Sometimes on long walks I write poems in my head. When I get home, I try to scribble them down madly before I lose them again. For many reasons, I’m pretty sure my neighbors think I’m an absolute nut, but probably the fact that on certain days I walk down the street in complete revery, forming out loud stanzas, really cements it.

This is walk-born poem, simple in verse but heartfelt in message:

Footstep after footstep, crunching after crunching, I walk.

Down the front steps, through the winding driveway, and out onto the street.

It’s dusk. That velvety time when the sky’s a watercolor of brilliant light and yet the ground and trees grow ever darker.

I slip off my sandals, because I can never really feel a moment with my shoes on.

The pavement’s cold. The acorns prick. But that’s part of it, and so I welcome it.

I glance through windows as I pass, catching snippets of others’ life.

There’s a son embracing his mother over the kitchen sink, and she’s smiling deep.

There’s a family holding hands around the table, with eyes closed.

There’s a couple sitting out on the front step, silently looking up at the sky, as he slowly puts his arm around her.

I’m sure they fight, I’m sure they hurt each other, and I’m sure they’re imperfect.

But on evenings like these, how can anyone help but become sensible again?

Because, you know, joy’s the only sensible feeling.

All else it just a perversion of thought.

I reach the end of the street. There’s the pasture, lined with fading crate and myrtles.

Leaning on the cracking wooden fence, I call quietly.

She comes, nuzzling my hand, looking for a carrot or some sugar.

“I’m sorry darling, I didn’t bring anything today.”

I stroke her gently, solemnly.

She whinnies softly, letting me know this behavior’s just not acceptable.

Whispering, I tell her how beautiful the sky is.

How the leaves are changing color.

How the air is cold and chill.

How everyone’s happy and joyful.

How even, when the last couple days are as wretched as can be, my whole view of life can be changed by just one sunset.

She nuzzles my cheek and then trots away, carrying all my secrets with her.

I turn around and make my way down the street.

The sky’s dimming. The lampposts cast their golden puddles of light.

Smoke, wafting out of a chimney. Laughter, heard through cracked windows.

It makes me smile. All this sensibility. Where’d it come from?

How can small things, like the arrangement of clouds and the way light shines through, change the way we feel?

Harmony of head and heart is wondrous.

—-  —-  —-

How hard it is for me to say that joy’s the only sensible feeling! When I see the news, when I hear stories, and when I experience tragedy, all I want to do is say, “Oh, mourn! Cry! Get it all out! How could such a thing happen? How could it be allowed?” Mourning is warranted most times. Because, frankly, life sucks sometimes. A lot of times. But we can’t dwell on it. That’s where it gets unhealthy. That’s where it gets contagious. And that’s where it gets just plain insensible. So I hope that makes sense. I really don’t mean that mourning, sorrow, and anger have no place. They do! If we didn’t express them, we’d all be balloons, bobbing around tranquilly, but popping and vanishing the moment something sharp pierces us.

But when it comes down to it, we’ve been given a beautiful earth, beautiful people to share it with, and beautiful beings to experience it with. Joy follows naturally.

Listening to: Katie Herzig – Oh my Darlin’

Reading: Robinson Crusoe

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Fleeting Moments

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An excerpt from my journal:

Birdsong Nature Center: October 22nd, 2011: Autumn’s here. I listen to the wind in the palm leaves and smell the tea olive and feel the goosebumps. I’m in love with these tall pine trees, graceful yet mighty. I’m in love with the old barn, rotting its way to perfection. I’m in love with this small caterpillar, exploring all this mess with his passionate slowness.

Why do I forget all this when things go wrong? Why do I forget the puddles of sunlight and beams of shadow? The chickadee’s merry chirp? The lacy veils of Spanish moss adorning the oaks? The flutter of wings and the buzz of this bee and the crinkle of moss and the coldness of metal?

I wish I could bottle this moment. Open it in years to come and smell and see and think and feel and all that I’m smelling and seeing and thinking and feeling now. How can I possibly savor every moment enough?

My heart’s full and the sun’s setting slow. The moment’s fading. Reach back and grasp blindly for it once more? No. Reach ahead and drink the next moment, fully and joyfully.

Pictures from Birdsong:

Listening to: Selena Gomez: Who Says? I really love the message of this song. It’s a good reminder for me to question who determines whom I can be or am.

Reading: The First Ladies by Margaret Truman

Learning: about the Kennedy’s! I just finished an amazing miniseries on them (It’s on Netflix View Instant and I highly recommend it) so I know I’m doing some research. What a crazy family.

Martha

Of Apples and Autumn

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It’s starting to feel lots like Autumn here! I’m loving it. My window’s open and the clothes are out on the line and I’ve spent the afternoon sitting at my desk, just journaling, writing, reading, and surfing Pinterest. (Follow me? You know you want to…) May I just say that there are some crazily amazing recipes on that website? The following recipe for Apple Donuts I found there might just become a regular fall treat.

Oven-Baked Apple Donuts (Adapted from cooks.com)

  • 1/4 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar (or sugar substitute like stevia, truvia, honey, brown rice syrup, or any other such nonsense)
  • 1 1/2 cups of bite size chunks of apple, cored (I used Granny Smiths)
  • 1 1/2 cups of spelt flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup of cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of rice milk

To Coat:

  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (or substitute)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

Preheat your oven to 350F. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugars, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Add the cold chopped butter. Rub the pieces of butter with the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Mix in the milk and fold in the chopped apples. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir using a spatula or spoon making sure not to over mix. Place a spoonful of batter into each mold of a buttered mini muffin pan.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the donuts are just golden. Remove from the oven, un-mold and lightly brush each donut with the melted butter. Dunk in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon mixed in. Shake off excess sugar and serve immediately. Enjoy! Makes about 24 mini donuts.

I made these Sunday afternoon because we had guests over and figured I’d have more than enough. But the next day, all twenty-four were gone. That’s how good they are. Also, yesterday morning I made Apple Stuffed Swedish Pancakes. I’ve grown up on Swedish Pancakes and this twist turns them from a classic comfort food to a gourmet breakfast treat. I usually double the recipe so that I can eat off them all throughout the week. (For those of you who don’t know, Swedish pancakes are similar to French crepes.) Best part of this recipe is that it’s super hard to mess up. If you mix up the steps (as I somehow manage to do on a regular basis) they still turn out wonderfully.

Apple Stuffed Swedish Pancakes (Adapted from American Girl Kirsten’s Cookbook)

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups rice milk
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat a small skillet to medium heat. Add some butter and then the apple chunks, sprinkling the 1/2 tsp of cinnamon on top.
  2. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl. Beat them.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the milk to the eggs and beat the mixture for around two minutes.
  4. Add the flour to the egg mixture all at once. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it’s smooth.
  5. When you can insert a toothpick into one of the apple chunks with not too much resistance, add the maple syrup. Cook for about three minutes until it resembles apple pie filling.
  6. Beat in the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of spelt. Then add the salt and cinnamon.
  7. Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet the apples were in.
  8. Drop two tablespoons or so of the thin batter into the skillet for each pancake.
  9. After about one minute the edges of the pancakes will brown lightly. Flip, and cook for another minute or so.
  10. Divide the apples into each pancake and roll them up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy! Makes about about six pancakes.

Try out these recipes! They’re so easy and delicious.

A note on format: So every post shall have three little sections at the bottom. The first will be what I’m currently listening to with a link to where you can listen to it too. The second will be what I’m currently reading. The third will be what I’m learning. Three times a week I have a time for independent studies, as we call it, when I research/practice/memorize something. If you have suggestions for music, books, or subjects to investigate, let me know in the comments!

Listening to: Mandi Mapes – The One for Me

Reading: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe – just starting!

Learning: the capitals of Europe. I’m using this quiz and my highest score is 83% (Shush, I know it’s not that great.) Can you beat my score?

Martha