“Sometimes you feel sad and you can’t quite put your finger on why. It’s not one acute sorrow that’s eating you. You feel in a way the whole of life calls for tears.”¹
Wanted or unwanted, the sun tilts and the Northern hemisphere shifts to cold..
spaces around me shift with the distancing sun, so too, my inner space.
I think in life there are seasons of melancholy as well.
Times when raucous “Facebook” announcements ring noisy.. false.
Sometimes, life can fall short of our dreams..
It is tiring to pretend that it doesn’t.
Tired of the social media pretense.. I sometimes feel like checking out..
Making a cup of tea..
rearranging and bringing in bits of nature around my home..
snapping a photo of early morning light.
“and I will make thee beds of roses”
Despite all, we cannot promise ourselves, our children.. that life will not disappoint
that we won’t lose those we love
that the path we choose won’t have challenges.
All smiles and boisterous laughter is so exhausting.. even frenzied sometimes,
and so I crave.. I cherish..
the quiet mood..
the wistful dream..
this longing for “real” that feels more
“right” than anything.
Scarves bundle to warm necks, heavy sweaters cocoon, leashes are clicked as I walk the paths slashed with slanted early morning sun and shadow.
I choose to exist in melancholy..
“somber, pensive, moody” call it what you will..
to walk and reminisce with sadness of what was once tender, simpler days and times, or those friends that may have been lost.
Because joined with the memory of what was.. is the longing to relive.. to hope for what might be again.
not something imagined in an ad for the perfect life.
When I can escape, I abandon the noisy gym and ramble the prairie scrub, wander along the path at Weaselhead or the off-leash for exercise,
lay awake in bed at night with windows wide open to hear the soft hoot of the owl that for some strange reason has found home in a tree nearby,
amaze at hundreds of crows streaming overhead in pursuit of..what?
Rejoice in a puppy playing in the leaves for the first time in her life.
Arrange colors of fruit in a wooden bowl so that it pleases my eye… rich deep purple of plum, crisp apple and ripe pear red..
Porcelain mugs are changed out for thick, hand-thrown pottery,
heavy throws are brought out
and I turn on Elgar.. or Bach..
light candles and
revel in the quiet with my nose in a book and my family nearby.
That scarf I started knitting two winters ago might even get finished.
None.. are quite “social-media” worthy, but I’m more than ok with that.
Life lived feels fuller, seems to have more value, when I acknowledge both the good and the bad taken together…
superficial happiness makes life feel common, the happier times less extraordinary.
Melancholy has its place, they say, because it unites us
for no one person can look at another and know all of them
in that single glance.
No one person can know the disappointments, hurt and pain that other person may have experienced.
Behind the triumphant grins and selfie poses.. are those who, too, must feel melancholy but choose not to acknowledge or perhaps just not share it..
or are too busy trying to run from it.
If we all have experienced life’s pain, empathy must triumph…
if we stop and take care to look, we will see it in each other’s eyes.
¹Thoughts today were inspired by an article in Philosopher’s Mail called “In Praise of Melancholy”
I love cooking nourishing food from scratch when I’m in one of these pensive moods. This time I was inspired by a Chatelaine magazine recipe.. while it looked nothing like the cover, was as comforting as soup can be. I tweaked it a bit by adding more spices, so adjust the seasoning to taste. I’ve decided acorn squash is my new favourite, it has a much sweeter note than butternut squash soup.
- 1 kg or 7 cups acorn squash (I used two quite large acorns, not the smallish ones you typically see)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup heavy (35%) cream
- to garnish:
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
- sour cream
- Cut the two acorn squashs in half then scrape out and discard the seeds. Place one squash face down in a microwave safe baking dish, loosely cover with waxed paper and add 1" of water. Microwave on high for about 4 minutes, rotate and cook on high for another 4 minutes. Turn and cook again for 4 more minutes (a total of 12 minutes) until squash is soft and pulp is darker in color and cooked through. Repeat for the other squash.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens and is lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic cloves, chili powder, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Cook another minute.
- Cut the pulp from the flesh of the squash, chopping into cubes. Add the cubed squash to the pot and cook another 2 minutes. Pour in the broth and water and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until the squash is completely tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- Purée with a hand held immersion blender or blend in batches in a blender. Serve in and top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.
I think next time I would try steaming a few extra smaller acorns and use those as serving bowls.