Yesterday was a tough day. And I was just at the point of thinking that it would be a tough weekend when I agreed to meet up with my mom for a spontaneous errand.
It was a beautiful spring afternoon in New York City. The streets were full, people were dining outside, the sun was shining, the air was clear. I started to feel refreshed as I wandered south from my apartment.
Shortly after our errand, my mom and I happened upon some jazz musicians who were playing on the street. (They weren’t the only troupe of musicians doing that—we encountered another only a few blocks north.)
Pedestrians were standing carefully apart from each other and watching the music. A few of us took little videos, me included. After each person in the jazz band had a short solo, there was clapping.
It was the kind of moment that makes me feel so lucky to live where I do, to be where I am. The peace and and clarity and sense of inspiration that many people get from nature is what I get from being on a bustling city street. The temporary loss of that last spring was really hard, the absence I felt the most in quarantine.
I got home from my walk a little less than two hours after I left. When I did, everything felt different. The worries and sense of vulnerability that I’d started the day with were still there. But I’d been reminded of the big, beautiful life that’s happening outside of the four walls of my apartment and the struggles that sometimes simmer up within them. My mood didn’t make a sudden shift to happiness, but I did feel grateful. And calm.
That was yesterday. Today is rainy and gloomy and damp. I’m a little anxious and low again. But I’m thinking back to that walk yesterday afternoon, which showed me that everything can shift around in a matter of minutes. Anything can happen.
I don’t want to be trite about tough days. They are what they are, and it’s best to honestly acknowledge the pain. But patience and openness—and by openness, I mean not getting so bogged down in distress that you refuse to let in joy when it shows up—are two of the best tools for finding one’s way out of them.
I could easily have allowed my gloom to feed off itself yesterday; I do that often enough. I didn’t, though. I went for a walk, found myself smiling, and didn’t fight it.
Happy Sunday, everyone. Here are some recipes and reads.
Steven posted this white chicken lasagna soup in January and stated that it was very appropriate for January. But it’s always soup season in my world, and this one looks great.
I can’t wait to make Lisa’s horenso gomaae.
Some tasty looking vegetable chickpea fritters.
A beautiful and vibrant quinoa salad from Isabel! It would be easy to swap vegan cheese for the Cotija.
Alanna’s vegan key lime pie is gorgeous, and very spring-like.
1. According to the New York Times, smell training—aka physical therapy for the nose—may be helpful to those who’ve recovered from Covid.
2. I love that a mom of a child with chronic illness spoke up against perfect attendance awards.
3. An interesting perspective on burnout, which places more responsibility on employers and less responsibility on the burnt out person to create boundaries. (For those of us who are self-employed, this gets complicated!)
4. New research into the link between such complex states as loneliness or wisdom with the human microbiome.
5. Microbiology student Balaram Khamari has been creating petri dish art. So cool.
Whether your day was tough or easeful, I wish you rest and peace tonight.
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