“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine,
freedom, and a little flower.
~Hans Christian Andersen
The Joy of Tulips
It’s an utterly amazing thing to me that I can watch brightly coloured orange and yellow tulips (most likely from Holland), unfurling perfectly on my dining room table and my windowsill while we still have snow, or when the snow has finally all melted and we have entered “The Brown Season” of early spring. I often keep tulips around while we await signs of the first dabs of green to appear around the edge of Winter’s sometimes slow retreat. Each year, I marvel that these gorgeous tulips come to me so easily, cheerily gracing my home with their joy and beauty.
“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
~ Jean Shinoda Bolen
Envision Something Beautiful
Few things ground us more, or help us to get back in touch with who we really are, than being outside in nature. Interestingly, our brains don’t distinguish between actually being somewhere, watching a peaceful scene, or just imagining it with our mind’s eye. Whether you are actually there seeing a beautiful scene or whether you are envisioning it, your brain responds in the same way. Whenever you elicit a feeling of peace within you, beneficial neurochemicals flood your whole body, helping you to feel more relaxed, calm and peaceful. And the more relaxed and at ease we feel, the more our bodies, minds and spirit benefit.
“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
~ A. A. Milne, When We Were Very Young
The first day of spring: she teased us yesterday morning, blanketing our world with a thick layer of soft snow and an icy wind. All I could do was laugh when I awoke to see the state of affairs. Beautiful, yes, but honestly I’d rather she had left all joking aside. I was counting on her arrival.
This dessert is arguably right up there in my all-time top five favourite desserts. It’s a spin on the classic French tarte Tatin I made from a recipe by David Lebovitz. The poaching liquid is ambrosial—the beautiful fresh Bosc pears are poached in an entire bottle of a fruity organic Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon blend, a cinnamon stick, several fresh slices of lemon, a few Tellicherry black peppercorns, honey and a quarter cup of my tantalizing homemade raspberry sauce. You’ll have to stop yourself from drinking the poaching liquid after you’ve poached your pears. And the poaching liquid only hints at the incredibly complex flavours of the finished reduction sauce. Sound incredibly delicious? It is.
“Laugh more. Play more. Joke more. Sing more. Smile more. Dance more. Eat more delicious food. Take more naps. Look for beautiful things all around you. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun!”
Welcome to my blog.
This is my very first post on my first ever blog. My intentions for carving out this little space on the world wide web are simple: to use it as a mechanism to focus on things that bring me joy and happiness; to follow my heart; to have a lot of fun; and to simply enjoy every step along my journey here. In the process, I hope to offer a place where there is always an inspiring image or an uplifting quote; a place to find something that surprises or delights, a place to find something to laugh or smile about; a place where perhaps one can find something that gives pause for thought.