the remarkable flavor

There were so many moments today.

Lu waking up talking, happily, after a few days of being sick.

(Antibiotics, when you need them, are pretty miraculous.)

Blasting Bill Frisell’s All We Are Saying, his tribute record to John Lennon, while I did the dishes, and falling in love with it immediately.

(It played on repeat nearly all day.)

Dancing to Step in Time with Lu in the living room, the two of us getting our knees up.

(We have a daily dance party around here.)

Spending the entire morning with my phone upstairs, untouched, while I played with Lu and did whatever she wanted.

(I wanted to be here today.)

Eating this roasted cabbage with Danny’s pumpkin seed vinaigrette and shreds of Montgomery cheddar from Neal’s Yard in London.

(You really must try Sarah’s roasted cabbage wedge salad and read the post that goes with it.)

There were small glasses of roasted mushroom soup. Individual pizzas, topped with cheese by Lucy and her friend Lila, roasted red peppers and olives and caramelized onions for us and Quinn and Alison. (Lucy dumped a lot of capers on hers too.) Later, at dinner, there was chicken and wild rice casserole with almonds and roasted mushrooms. We spent the entire day with our dear friends, whose presence in our lives goes unremarked here. They are just here.

There was bouncing on trampolines and playing dress-up and squabbles between 4-year-olds who adore each other and can push the edges, then make up as best friends again. There was an unexpected trip to the beach near dusk, plus this moment. There were conversations, lots of laughter, simple silences, and more love than I could ever find the words to say.

But in the midst of a mundane wonderful day, this might have been my favorite moment. Standing in the living room, the sunlight suddenly seeping onto the wooden floor after days of storm, I opened an old battered copy of The Tassajara Recipe Book and read this poem.


Take a look, after all.

Has berating yourself,
being unhappy with yourself and others,
things and events, produced happiness
or unhappiness?

With all this criticism,
blame, hurt, fault-finding,
has improvement taken place?
Do you now, at last,
have every reason
to be happy with yourself?

Leave well enough alone.

Appreciate this carrot, cabbage
cucumber, and cress, this time
with the less than perfect.
The remarkable flavor you have
searched for is everywhere.

— Edward Espe Brown

Yes. Less than perfect, this time. Enough searching.