In my 20+ years of being out on my own, I’ve avoided buying a crock pot, viewing it as a tool for the home cook and not the utensil of the “serious chef” (Funny how I tend to borrow and use my co-worker’s slow cooker more than she does). Well, I ran into this little cutie today at the supermarket – 1.5 quarts and only $9.99. How could I resist? I’m in a stew mood and I can’t wait for Fall.
Today, I’m playing hooky from work, opting instead to watch the rain through the back windows, slurping coffee from a never-ending mug, writing and reading. The back door is open – I love the smell of rain, especially after a long, dusty summer. Perhaps, at some point, I’ll gather the impetus to get some things done, but, for right now, I’m enjoying my lazy autumn afternoon.
I can feel the seasons shift from late summer into fall. Yesterday, I left the office and stepped into a darkening evening full of clouds and chill. Defiantly, I put the top down on my car but resigned to wrap myself in a scarf as a buffer to the cold. When did the days begin to get shorter? Months ago, but I only noticed yesterday. Autumn is my favorite season. To me, it’s a renewal – a description usually left for spring. Fat pumpkins and squash almost magically appear on the ground – they’ve been there, growing for months, but only now say, “Look at me”. Trees explode in a riot of color – plum, gold, orange and russet. The sky feels alive with a fresh chill and brisk wind. Fall gives us reason again to simmer rich stews and comforting soups for hours, filling the house with superb smells. Once dusty fireplaces again crackle with burning logs.
Autumn is the time to draw within, to take stock of ourselves, and to contemplate. It’s a time to close our doors and windows to our neighbors and snuggle in with ourselves. It’s a perfect time to prune back our over-extended commitments, to focus on the essence of ourselves and our family, to become cozy with who we are. Autumn is not a sad dying but its own living – an insular living that renews in its own way – a quiet Yin to spring’s Yang. Autumn is a time to reconnect with ourselves.