I blew off an obligation this morning and spent the day in the kitchen instead. Cleaned out some cupboards, made a pretty nice tomato sauce with pancetta and the last of the heirlooms. The rains have finally come and my instinct was to be at home, inside, warm and dry.
So much came up for me when I wrote that first paragraph: gratitude that I have a warm, dry home, that I have food to cook and good people to share it with. A little sadness and guilt that I wasn't down at campaign headquarters, putting in time for what I deeply and passionately believe in. A little more guilt for the obligation I didn't meet this morning. And also a quiet, inward facing kind of pleasure that feels nourishing and necessary.
To work off some of the guilt, I decide to make homemade ricotta gnocchi to go with the sauce. Ricotta, salt, parmesan, egg, flour. The pleasure of a steamy kitchen on a rainy autumn afternoon. The pleasure of making an effort and using my body. The creative pleasure of playing with a recipe, making a game out of not running out to the store for missing ingredients.
Later, when everyone has gone home and the kitchen is clean, reflecting back on the pleasure of a day spent indoors: productive, creative, tending to the uncomplicated. The week ahead is monumental, historical: so much depends on millions of people acting with intelligence and wisdom, or at least with a little common sense. It feels good to have gotten my own house in order.
And so this is how it is in the world we live in: tomato sauce and politics, hard work and hope, playing quietly at home and finding solutions from what's at hand. Outside, the rain keeps falling, washing over everything and clearing away the dust and dirt of a long summer. A new beginning.