September this year feels more like November. Or so I say until November comes around with highs in the 40s to remind me what November is really like. But nonetheless, we’ve seen our share of chilly grey days that are an all-too-abrupt shift from the 80-degree highs we experienced two weeks ago.
There are numerous upsides: I love running outdoors in this weather, I love baking in this weather, I love the cuddle-up-with-a-blanket-and-a-mug-of-tea feeling that it creates…and yet I’m saying, not yet, not yet. Perhaps it’s because even September feels like it’s flying by too quickly. Several weekends out of town, and suddenly we’re halfway through. Next weekend is full of family activities, followed by a week-long business trip, and there we are, October already. And breathe. How do things get so busy? So hectic?
So once again, I find myself in the place where all seems well: the kitchen. Simmering fruit and sugar to make jam. Baking bagels and gingerbread. Crafting soups and stews that bubble away the afternoon. Time slows, measured out in sips and spoonfuls, a dash of this and a pinch of that. And at the end, there is something to show for it–whether something consumed in a meal or over the next several months. Not just the end product, but the process itself is nourishing. It’s peaceful, warm, soothing. A touch of the familiar–replicating the potato soup I learned from watching my mother as a little girl–as well as the new: creating plum ginger jam from scratch.
It’s a place to make my mark, tailor things to the way I want them to be. A place to practice, re-learn, experience. It’s all-immersing. It feeds my soul as well as my body. The flavors, the textures, the sensory experience of enjoying each bite, each nuanced taste. It feels like home, it feels like me. A place to find myself, over and over again.