A new month a new set of inspirations.
The season is getting chillier and the foods are becoming richer and I couldn't be happier to welcome this season with open arms! I will miss the warm air and green grass but there is a time for everything and the time for orange and pumpkin and wool knits and neutral outfits is here!
all images from Pinterest
Mine are these little bread bites or chlebíčky as they're called in Czech. Just little baguette slices with a spread and a veggie, sometimes with a bit of meat.
Super easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser (I even make them for lunch sometime if I'm feeling less than culinary) you can't go wrong with a dish that takes max 20 minutes to prepare!
I just assembled
- a bit of Bubi's Garlic sauce
- a cucumber and red pepper slice
- halfed, pitted black olive
Today is hazy and the warm wind swims around the thick leaves of trees and hanging laundry.
Everyone is inside hiding from heat
While I sit under the shade of overgrown vine leaves.
The sky is hidden behind smatterings of white clouds and I look up, triggered by jingling, to see our neighbour trying to access the orchard beside our house, a stones throw from where I sit and write this.
We exchange the familiar head nod, a wordless hello, as he ushers in two brown and white cows to graze around the apple trees.
The wind picks up a bit; rustling through fat leaves making a heavy sound like softened sand paper being rubbed together.
An apricot falls down from the tree beside.
It’s the beginning of the afternoon now and chickens cluck and clack in their usual ways. Stalking back and forth amongst each other getting louder
I sit at the edge of the well- still under the canopy of green- and write and listen to the sounds around me knowing it will be a long time until I hear and feel this place again.
So I indulge my senses.
Listening, I hear the chickens from the neighboring farm cluck and roost incessantly, which sounds odd
Even for me, the inexperienced farm ear.
Looking, I raise my head and glance over to the farm at the exact moment a hawk, pure black against the bright blue-sky, rises from the farm across the way, chicken less and heading my direction.
Feeling, He gracefully glides over my head in a soft whoosh of wind.
He circles around and returns back to the farm, spooking the chickens once more before flying towards me again and away.
This happens all the time
The cat and mouse of farm life
The hawk hiding in a haystack
A perk or a problem depending on how you look at it.
I always counted on organized groups of hawks to shake up the hot, sleepy afternoons of my summers in Helena
Circling above the tree line at the edge of my farm waiting to strike
Accompanied by a display of yelling and metal striking from the farms below to scare them away from the chickens.
It’s something I hold very dear and special in my memory even if it might be a bit morbid or strange.
A distinct feature of my summers in Romania.
So this time as he flew above my head
I could see the talons tucked neatly into its body and the outline of its tail feathers
I felt he had done this display for me
To give me one last hurrah before my time here was done
Because he was a solo show
And I was the only one who saw him that day.
I am a huge fan of "the epic in the everyday".
It's a term I learned from one of my Lit classes in undergrad that basically means, the normal everyday experiences of our lives have incredible potential, meaning, and celebration. They're monumental, special and worth attention.
Ever heard of The Book of Awesome? It's literally a book of random anecdotes like "fresh sheets, bubble wrap, catching a bus" that make life "AWESOME!". Which it does right? Who doesn't feel good when they catch the bus, or pop a roll of bubble wrap or dip a spoon into a freshly opened jar of peanut butter (or Nutella)! it's a small, almost unchanging event that makes you feel great in the moment. And it's important to cherish those moments.
I liked the idea of "Awesome" because it ties into another books I enjoyed reading, Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequest. It touches on the same idea. and the other book, that life can get really heavy and sad with everything we have to deal with and think about ;but remembering to celebrate the small moments God gives us and cherishing their importance and uniqueness is crucial.
Having a coffee in silence becomes much more potent when you lavish in the smell of the beans and cream and really smell and enjoy it. Enjoy the silence, the pause from a busy day.
It's a big deal.
So try it today
smell your coffee
use a brand new notebook
put on clean, new socks
make someone's day.
* In which a story accompanies a piece of fashion, whatever it happens to be.
I saw a friend I hadn't seen in over four years about a week ago. I didn't recognize her fully until she smiled.
A smile that reaches up into the eyes.
I remember first meeting her during high school and being taken back by her bubbly, outgoing personality which stood in sharp contrast to mine. She was never without a smile, or a joke, never down and out.
One of those people who saw the positive side in almost every circumstance. Even the bad bad ones.
I can't remember if she had gone on this trip or someone related to her but she came back one day with small gifts from Japan. Tiny bracelets for each of her new friends. And I loved it.
Because it was something cool from Japan
But also because she unexpectedly bought us something without a pretence.
It was no ones birthday or Christmas, just an ordinary school day. Just because.
This was my first instance of gifting without getting which I am a firm believer of; small tokens given to people out of the blue just to say your were on their mind.
Every time this bracelet crosses my path through rummaging in my jewellery box I always think of her and her sincere smile.
I used to get funny looks from people passing by as I halted in the middle of the street with a camera
on manual focus.
and you know what manual focus means: lots of adjusting for sharpness
lots of stopping
lots of trying to snatch the moment for yourself, hoping
it's in focus.
I used to get side glances from people at cafe patios under beer-sponsored umbrellas
wondering with their eye what I was doing filming a place like this.
I used to, but not anymore.
Since i've come back they've been through this song and dance before.
Buses packed with back-packed people pour out and spill through the village limits
Auditing church services from the balcony
wandering the forests with a compass and jugs of voda
snapping pictures and
watching, always watching.
The influx of tourism brings many valuable things
but sometimes the prying eyes of passers by aren't as expected or welcomed.
But you get used to it, it seems
eventually you habituate and
the obscene coloured windbreakers of travellers blends into the bustle of the main part of town
like the patch of leaves changing colour on a tree.
As I walk through the limits of the village
and stop and prop my camera to gather the moments from this place I know so well
every hop skip and jump on the road
I laugh to myself at the visitors who pass me by
giving a nod and a greeting
thinking I am like them, unknowing that I've seen the sun set over these hills more times that they could imagine.