Standing over the cutting board, slicing olive flesh off the pits, I am drawn to contemplation once more. My heart has felt heavy these last few weeks. For me, late winter has typically been a time of drawing in, folding the blankets of life around me, closing the curtains, blocking out drafts. For whatever reason, this time of year leads me to risk less, to soak in my quiet hours of solitude, to ignore phone calls and invitations. I have fallen into this pattern once more, and am in need of getting out of my head, putting my energy to use on a cause less related to my own. I am reminded of my current tasks, the most important to listen for answers, though the urgency of the everyday often fiddles the knobs on my ears and speeds up the actions of my feet.
Yesterday was a warm and sunny late-winter afternoon. School was finally out for the week, spring break just around the corner. Ready for some dialing in to the right listening frequency and slowing down of the feet, I longingly looked out the window, ready to feel the sun.
One of my students walked in and in the space of only a few minutes, a forceful acknowledgement fell suddenly into my lap.
There are lives more challenged; basic needs going unmet. My own circle of worries bumps into other circles that are stretched further, weighted far heavier than my own.
In this moment, I willingly set aside my worries of the day-to-day. I set aside the fact that I cannot control the actions and decisions of others. I’m drawn back to focus on listening. Though I wish it weren’t so, these things, tough situations for undeserving people, happen for a reason.
Time, patience, understanding. Smoothing the blankets. Opening the curtains to let in the light, thoughts flow brighter filtered through golden rays.
There it is, spring is on it’s way.
Olive-Raisin Roasted Cauliflower, adapted from PlentyJuice from half an orange 1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped 1/2 a medium onion, chopped 1/4 cup mixed olives, pitted and diced 1 large or 2 small bay leaves 1/4 cup raisins 1 1/2 Tbs. garlic-infused olive oil Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste small handful fresh parsley, minced
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In an medium-size oven-proof casserole dish, pour in the orange juice. Toss in the remaining ingredients, except the parsley. Cover with foil and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender, but still a bit firm.
- Take from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool down for a few minutes. Stir in the parsley, and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.