I’m not good at mornings. I like staying up late and sleeping in if I can. My plan for today was to get up at 6, cozy in to my kitchen with a cup of coffee and write as the sun came up. Doesn’t that sound nice and romantic and what a writer should do? Soaking in those perfect moments of solitude to reflect on life as the worlds rubs its sleepy eyes.
I think I pressed the snooze button 12 times and here I am at 7:50 am just getting started. I’m making this a priority this morning, but it likely means “hat day”, if you know what I mean. I do have coffee made by our new coffee maker which I am so excited about. First world beauty, is that a thing? I guess it is, and the convenience of this programable coffee maker is fabulous! I put the grinds in at night, and presto it makes me my beautiful addictive nectar that gets me going each day. I joke because we now have every method to make a cup of joe. I’ll probably still go to Starbucks, and the coffee shop across from work, but I shouldn’t. I just adore the convenience of this little machine, the routine it provides, the status of adulthood that radiates proudly in my kitchen.
Rave and rave about this machine, I could. I know, beauty in an appliance? How trite. Don’t discount that wonder that comes from the kitchen counter. I am thankful for technology that brings comfort to my daily routine. Sometimes, I stop to ponder how fabulous the world actually is. Every thing in my kitchen, from the coffee maker to the little bright light bulb in my refrigerator, was created and designed by human intelligence. That’s so neat! The clothes I put on my back, the hairbrush I use to groom, the toothpaste I use to scrub my chompers – all of that was made up by a person and engineered and manufactured and made usable. That’s pretty incredible. It is easy to focus on all the wrong doings humans create; the accidents, the horror unto one another and unfortunate consequences of quick action. Those exist, sure as heck, but so do little wonders. Remember the book, “The Way Things Work”, by David Macaulay and Neil Ardley, that you used to read when you were a kid? I loved that book and its illustrations and explanations. I ask myself what happened to my wonder at the world? Have I let it be squashed by disappointment and disheartening news? I hope not. There is so much beauty, only when we let it become a part of our day.
This week we carved pumpkins in preparation for Halloween. I’ve never been a huge fan of Halloween, but pumpkin carving, that is what I live for. I’m not particularly skilled and my exercise typically involves a cut out pattern of some sort, but the process is fun and full of delightfully slimy gook. I had friends over to partake in the festivities, made a huge batch of chili and got down to work. Here are our results:
The weather has been unseasonably warm this week, breaking records and causing our creations to shrivel like little old ladies with no teeth. They sit on my porch silently screaming, “How many days ’til we get to rest? This smiling is exhausting us!” Their dropping faces remind me of going to the dentist, or getting braces put on when you have your mouth open for hours and your jaw starts shaking. Hang in there little guys, just a few more days until Halloween. Joy from pumpkins is short lived.
More amazement, too, comes from the little nuggets of promise mixed in with the slime. I roasted the seeds this year, for the first time on my own. Usually, that’s a job my mom masters, but I gave it a whirl this season. The results were quite excellent – maybe the trick is boiling the seeds in salt water first. Here is the simple recipe that I used. So while my pumpkins may be shrinking to their end, I’ve got their legacy on my kitchen counter and my snack size zip block bag full of their gifts in my work bag. Find ways to carry beauty with you, create reminders that things are good, and wondrous, and worth exploring.
Did you carve a pumpkin? I want to see.