16 January 2013
January feels like a time for hibernating: hunkering down and conserving warmth. But it also signifies, to me, a new beginning. A time for increased attention to and activity in areas that may have been neglected for a while, or never engaged in at all. We are in the depths of winter. Outside is still, frozen except the sun moving across the sky or flakes of snow fluttering down from the heavy clouds. I know we have months before spring arrives but I am also certain that the time will slip away without hesitation. I am determined to use as much of each day as wisely as I can.
When I write about the seasons and the days, an ever present theme that I often return to, I imagine myself living someplace where I am much closer to nature. Instead of gazing out my kitchen window at the alley, parked cars, and garage doors, I look out at a snow covered field edged by leafless trees cutting a line between gray sky and white ground. The view from my urban kitchen is of tree branches and buildings, cement and sky layered together.
I've been slowly returning to kitchen routines as I settle into the calm light of January. During the fall I was usually too busy, tired or uninterested to do much cooking but I am finally ready to reconnect with the routines that are as nourishing in practice as they are on a plate. It is the routine of creating the staple foods that I want to have on hand in the kitchen which connects me with what I eat. It makes me feel more alive to be part of this nourishing rhythm.