Today was supposed to be the day that I did something with the quince which was ripening so beautifully on my kitchen table. The weather cooperated and produced a chilly autumnal day and eventually the rain came which grayed the sky and bared the branches of the trees outside my kitchen window. It was a perfect day to stay at home, peeling and slicing the fruit, mixing it with sugar and leaving it to sit for a while in a big clay bowl until it wept out it's own sweet cooking liquid and was ready for the stove. It was the kind of day to have something to tend to in the kitchen where it's quiet and warm.
It's a perfect, lovely picture but my day did not end up looking like that, not even remotely, for ten thousand boring, everyday reasons. Busyness and distraction and procrastination all conspired to leave the quince whole and intact, sitting on the table where they still smelled sweet and continued to be beautiful in their ripening. It was disappointing that I didn't get to them and frustrating that I let the day slip away so easily.
It's a busy time, this weekend before Thanksgiving. There's so much to do, so we make plans and lists, and set goals and intentions. We make promises and have expectations which lead to worries and anxieties and disappointments. And we try to make it all come together reasonably well and sometimes it does. Usually, though, there's always something left undone, some loose end we leave trailing behind us as we rush out the door.
My unfulfilled quince project is far from a crisis situation but it it's an example of how I sometimes put off doing things that give me comfort and pleasure. I look at them now, sitting there on the table, so ripe and beautiful and absurd in their lumpiness. Wisely, I make no promises about tomorrow, but I do take the old clay bowl down from the cupboard and knock on my neighbors door to borrow (yes, this really happpened) a cup of sugar.
Maybe if I get things started tonight, if I cut up the fruit and toss in the sugar and cover it tight for the night, I can hedge my bets for tomorrow. Maybe the crappy weather will hold and I'll get my cozy kitchen moment, standing with my belly pressed against the warm stove, stirring a spicy scented pot full of sugar and absurdity.
It's never entirely certain what tomorrow will bring.
Related: Weekend Meditation: Lingering
(Image: Dana Velden)