Of course, all this comforting abundance is a product of my efforts and choices and my will to survive, but this year especially, I've become aware that it's also a crazy, teetering, building block tower of miracles and dumb luck. A painful (but also liberating) truth is that it could all come tumbling down at any minute with very little effort. We all live with this uncertainty, whether we are actively aware of it or not. To simultaneously hold these two things, this sense that there is enough and the understanding that it all could be gone tomorrow, is a tricky thing and something I haven't really gotten the hang of.
All this thinking makes me hungry so I wander into my kitchen and cook up some kale that won't last another day if I don't do something with it now. I wilt it in a hot pan with a little oil and salt and toss it with vinegar and slivered shallots to make a warm salad. For color and sweetness I add a few chopped apricots and for crunch some crushed almonds. At the last minute I toss in a handful of feta cheese. Sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy.
I sit at the kitchen table with my big bowl of salad and eat, watching the rain falling outside my window. Suddenly it intensifies and it's exactly like that expression about the sky opening up. Buckets and buckets pour down with a dramatic roar and the earth and trees and plants and the pavement, too, seem to open up in return and receive it. I eat my salad and enjoy the smell of the rain and the rusty clanging of my radiator and the salt chewy crunchy salad and for now, in this moment at least, there is plenty.
(Image: Dana Velden)