Don’t get me wrong. The trip was wonderful. We saw so many people we love, and DC at this time of year is simply splendiforous (if also allergy-inducing…). Azaleas, cherry blossoms, tulips – oh my! But that first morning back in our apartment, making oatmeal on my own stove, stirring in raisins, agave nectar, cinnamon and flax seed, just the way I like it… well, it was nothing short of joyous.
Food writer Kim O’Donnel has said that the first thing she does in a new home is to cook a meal. Amid the moving boxes and chaos, she unpacks just enough to make dinner that first night, thus anointing a house, a home.
It was good to sleep in my own bed – great, actually. But to cook my own food – that’s what really made me feel rooted once again in my own space. My own life. My own skin.
Last night I took myself on a date. I got a mani-pedi (nails the color of pink tulips and tree blossoms) and saw Win, Win at Cobble Hill Cinema (Julia Cameron would call this an artist’s date). As I strolled home afterward, the night air was cool. Couples ambled arm in arm, people walked their dogs (or was it the other way around), and music spilled out of cars. On Court Street, a group of people gathered to dance around an SUV playing Christian rock. A man in a rumpled shirt and jeans walked a tiny gray poodle, who paused in the middle of crossing the street to rear up on his tip-toes, investigating something of interest down the way. He danced like that for a second, on two legs, before conceding it was time to journey on.
I arrived home to find my own dog passed out contentedly on my bed. “C’mon, Cosmo,” I said, kissing him, and down we went in the elevator, for his last bathroom break of the day. He lifted his leg, then turned around and headed for the door to our building. ‘Cause that’s what we do at night.
This morning I brewed myself a cup of green tea – gen ma chai, my favorite, from Teaism, in DC. I mixed a bowl of greek yogurt, almond butter and blueberries and toasted some multi-grain bread. Later today I’ll cook the fat, fresh stalks of asparagus waiting in my fridge, which Jordan retrieved from the Union Square greenmarket. The other night, I used a bunch of the same asparagus to make a spring barley risotto, a wonderful recipe from a new cookbook, Power Foods, that my parents gave me as an early birthday present. I substituted ramps for leeks, and the aroma of onion mingling with dry white wine filled our apartment, as a soft spring breeze entered through the window.
It’s good to be home.
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What rituals, foods, people, places, or activities feed your soul?