So there’s this French saying. It was the title of a comedy. La vie n’est pas un long fleuve tranquille. Life is not a long tranquil river.
Sometimes, we are grateful for life’s non linear, unexpected turns. Sometimes we tell ourselves they happen for a reason. Sometimes hindsight shows us the good that came out of the bad. And sometimes, we feel sorrow and mourn that long tranquil river of a life we might have imagined when we were children.
“Life is never as good, or as bad, as we thought.” Une Vie. Guy de Maupassant.
I will spare you the nitty gritty details, but there was a separation, a move, a terrible illness, a hospitalization and hours and days in critical condition, just waiting. For the body and soul to make a move. For the better or for the worse. Crisis mode. Everything else in life fades away to deal with the chaos.
And then, there’s slow improvement. Things are still difficult, still unresolved, and uncertain. The illness is still here. But life and healing are no longer hanging on by a thread. And remains the dire need for life to continue on its course, whatever that may be.
And in the midst of this past month of chaos, sanity had to be maintained. Ways to cope, to be grounded for my sake, for my son’s sake. Life is never one thing. Days have been nerve-wracking, chaotic, driven, juggling. But also joyful, through minutes spent in the present moment with Pablo. Through meals we shared in the midst of boxes, and slowly, in what has begun to feel like our new home. Through seconds of taking in the beauty surrounding us, the San Gabriel mountains, the wild parrots in our tree, the cool morning air.
How beauty and connection matter. How they heal and nourish.
So this feels like such a homecoming. I’m a little nervous. To write here, to come back to this blogging community I had to desert for a month. Resurfacing has been hard. I have been so grateful for all your messages of encouragement and comfort and support. I am so grateful for your patience, that you’re still here to read these words.
I’ve been nervous, I’ve felt stuck and afraid to have too much to express. But I’m starting to write again. To cook again. Some dust has settled on my camera. Soon.
In the meantime, I am sharing this lovely simple recipe I had cooked up before all this whirlwind of a month. A little something to quench that summer nostalgia October might bring.
Cherry tomatoes braised with vanilla & rosemary
4 servings (appetizer, or a fantastic topping for a Spanish tortilla!)
Prep time : 10 min
Cook time : 10-12 min
Age for babies: 8-10 months (peeling the tomato skins might be necessary)
1 lb cherry tomatoes
1 sprig of rosemary
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 vanilla bean
2 tsp sugar
Salt & pepper
Wash the tomatoes, wash the rosemary and take it off the sprig. Mince the rosemary leaves.
Over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil.
Make a lengthwise incision along the vanilla bean, and with a small spoon, grate the seeds off on each side. Scrape them into the coconut oil.
Add the tomatoes and rosemary. Sprinkle the sugar on top, and let cook for about 10 minutes over medium, rolling the tomatoes around every so often by gently tilting and shaking the pan (using a spatula might make mush out of the tomatoes as they cook.)
Enjoy just like that as an appetizer or side dish with some bread. Or place on top of a quiche or Spanish tortilla.