This afternoon, we gathered at our favorite beach on Vashon for a New Year’s day picnic with friends. It was cold — every kid came dressed in a coat and wooly hat with ear flaps — and our plan to have a bonfire fizzled when we read there is a burn ban on right now. But we all laughed.
One friend brought brown rice rolls in nori, a smoothie made with frozen blueberries and rice milk, napkins for us. We brought turkey slices slathered in good mayonnaise rolled up tight. Oranges ready to be peeled. There was hot herbal tea in a mason jar.
Last night, Danny braised white beans in olive oil with a Parmesan rind and rosemary. They simmered in the slow cooker all night long, growing plump but crisp at the edges toward the end of the cooking. It feels good to eat food like this — food that requires attention and slowing down — on the first day of the year. Years ago now, this was the first dish Danny ever made for me. I felt madly in love with him already, but I worried before I took that first bite. What if he wasn’t a very good cook? After the first bite, I sighed. Happy. I’ve been following that feeling with him ever since. We made them again to test the recipe for our first cookbook back in 2009 but we’d forgotten them since. I love that he made them now, for the first day of the year. Something is returning.
Everything begins again.
There’s something about water for me. It’s about change and embracing, letting go and acknowledging that time moves on, like breath, like children growing, like the start of a new year. Or maybe it’s not metaphorical at all — Shauna, stop the connecting, the teaching, the making every moment into meaning — but purely physical. I feel spacious under big sky with the water lapping at the broken-down driftwood falling apart at the seams.
We had an incredible year. 2014, you were something else.
Bring on the new.
This year’s word for Danny and me is calm. It felt good to be home, on the beach we know so well, with some of the friends we want to see again and again in 2015. We’re looking forward to seeing you more often here this year, friends.
Thanks for being here.