We've taken some much-needed time off so for the rest of this month and into the next, we'll be up in the north shore taking in the salty ocean air and being together without a full schedule to concede with.
Although there is ample opportunity for lazy mornings while I’m there, I've gotten into a pattern of waking up before anyone else, making a hot cup of coffee and watching the sunrise. I love the feeling of tranquility that only early morning waking can provide which is an odd sentiment for me since most of the time I find myself aching for more sleep. But this feeling of early morning renewal is soothing and gratifying in the most peaceful way imaginable. Sometimes, I sit outside with a big blanket and stare at the still horizon and other times, I grab my camera and capture the silent morning in all its splendor and beauty.
I've truly found a calmness I can't accurately put into words. Perhaps it's simply that the distractions of my everyday life aren't there to goad me. I have the ocean. And my family. And fruits and vegetables purchased from local farm stands just up the road. Nothing seems quite as urgent or quite as severe or quite as demanding. Although big city life has always been endearing on so many levels, captivating and fulfilling even, it can’t really compare to the serenity of the country. I long for the simplicity that smaller communities offer and now, at times, even Halifax seems a bit grand.
I used to fear that the way I imagined my life here would differ greatly from the reality of what lay before me. That, the never- ending chore and project list would in fact, prevent me from enjoying the very essence of this home. I suppose only time will tell what this place will come to mean to me but I always imagined it would be a place of refuge from broken teenage hearts and mangled friendships. A sanctuary that would provide safety and shelter. The first place my children would want to run away to when things didn’t seem right with the world. And for right now, this place is just that. Happiness and laughter and adventure. I want to hold onto all of it because I know the day will come when they won’t want to spend every waking moment in our presence. They won’t ask us to watch them swim or dance or help them dust the sand off their little toes or for a towel to dry their eyes when sudsy soap gets in the way. I remind myself of these very things as often as I can and as a result, the need to breath it all in is so much stronger than the need for peace and quiet.
I wish things could stay this way forever.
Now this sangria. The most important part of this recipe is to let the ingredients sit so the flavors can meld together. If you can plan ahead and allow them to mingle overnight, the sangria will burst with flavor. If you throw it together on a whim like I did the first couple of times I made it, the cherry-basil flavor is much too mild and you want something explosive with strong notes of cherry and lemon and basil. It’s the epitome of summer living.