Sunday, November 7, 2010

Case Study 76: "The Pumpkin Seed"

Lately, I have been on the move.  I head uptown on foot, I hop over to Brooklyn on the subway, and I drive through Spanish Harlem to leave the city. I see a man in a suit closing his iron gate under an overflowing window box on 82nd Street.  There are children playing in the sidewalk beside mothers on stoops on 126th.  There's an overcurated flea market on Lafayette with lobster rolls, asian hot dogs, and street style gamines searching for a ready camera. I keep my eyes open and I don't want to miss a thing.  And yet, no matter what I see in the diverse neighborhoods I pass through, I keep thinking about one thing: the luxury of time.

When it comes to time itself, I've been a rich woman this past month.  After passing through years like wildfire, I've been given the chance to slow down, re-evaluate, and breathe.  Museums, parks, historic sites - these are the fruits of my labor these days.  I walk away from the computer and I pick up the phone, I spend time with family and friends, and I reconnect with the physical world - the one that we never thought was a luxury until we started spending eight to twelve of our waking hours behind a screen, locked away in our corporate castles running circles against a clock. 

"The Pumpkin Seed" is a pumpkin cupcake with a molasses maple cream cheese buttercream that is topped with a homemade pumpkin seed brittle. I've always thought that what pumpkin evokes in autumn was the essence of time.  As a child I watched them grow all summer long over the stone wall of a farmhouse streetcorner in Connecticut.  I'd pass on an August day to find them sitting on chairs like little round old men, too heavy for their vines against the rock. And when the cold set in, one by one they would disappear, some breaking free and rolling down the street, and others finding their way to plates and porches across the town.

I always loved that quote that reminds us that one twenty-four hour period of childhood equals twenty of our adult days.  We lose a little bit of the ability to live deliberately and with intention when we grow up because there's always somewhere else to go.  I've gotten lost these past weeks, and I'm so thankful that I've had to time to do so.  Everybody has something to say about being early or being late.  But nobody can argue that when you're on time for doing absolutely nothing at all, you are exactly where you're supposed to be, and that is a gift.

1 comment:

Ann Nyberg said...

Do you have access to the recipe for these lovelies? I would love to have it if you do.