I’m a morning person, anyone who knows me knows that I am usually up at the crack of dawn, and even before. I enjoy the silence and solitude that comes with the pre-dawn hours. There is a peace and tranquility that sets my mood, sets the tone for the day. I rarely see the 11 PM news, but always wake to the morning news. I used to joke that thank goodness for the re-runs of Law and Order since I fall asleep before the Order part. The ritual of the morning is something precious to me; feed the cats, make an espresso cortado, get back in bed, watch the early morning news until 7 then start the day. What I love the most about this ritual is seeing the sunshine. The morning sun coming into my kitchen through the lace curtains and filling the room just makes me happy.
I make another cortado, then go over to the living room window and stare out at the sunshine streaming over my little garden, waking up my flowers and I say hi to all. This is my “sun salutation”. I say hi to my little flowers, and am usually accompanied by one or 2 of my cats — Mia and Sammy and together we greet the day.
I think that in this time of uncertainty and isolation, it’s important to embrace your rituals and feel comfort in small things that bring a smile to your face. I smile when I see my little furry creatures basking in the sunshine on the windowsill. I call them my little sunshine cats when they do this. This is not about seasonality, or the fact that it’s now spring; I do this all year. I love the seasons and how the light changes — warmer colors in the winter and fall and bright in spring and summer.
I think that letting the sunshine in can take many forms, some literal and some figurative. Think about what makes you smile. Another way the sun shines for me is through — you guessed it food and wine. Don’t you just smile when you think of a favorite meal your mom cooked? Or when you make a meal that your friends love? Is it the perfect food and wine combination? When something tastes so good you just can’t help but smile? I say yes to all of these things. Now that mom and dad are gone, I love flipping through their carefully catalogued index cards of recipes. I smile when I see one that brings me back in time. I sit in their kitchen as I write this and can almost smell her cooking and it fills me with sunshine. A dear friend of mine was gifted one of mom’s hand-written index cards with mom’s meatball recipe; and the smile that swept over her face was priceless. I can still smell those savory treats frying in the kitchen and remembering how I’d steal one or 2 or whatever, as she was cooking them. Now my friend makes this recipe. Before all this self imposed isolation and distancing my friend and I were going to make her mom’s Irish Soda Bread recipe, also lovingly written on a piece of paper. Maybe we can do this now virtually together, not the same as in person but we all have to find ways to do things, keep to rituals and keep together to let the sunshine in. Both of our moms have passed but through their recipes we have a little bit of their sunshine.
I smile when I think of the beautiful warm sunshine of my recent trip to Argentina. The was sun shining in the vineyards making the grapes perfectly ripe for the winemaking to come. In fact the wonderful company that I am working with is called Vino del Sol — Wine of the Sun. What a great name and so apropos to this story! I can’t believe that it was a little over 3 weeks ago that I was there, and how the world has changed for us since then. So remember it’s important that you find ways to let the sunshine in and make you smile. It’s good for the soul and the spirits, so let the sunshine and I wish you all good health and happiness and of course great food and wine to keep you smiling.