Thursday, September 13, 2012

Delighting in Jello, a Random Pursuit



Sniffing wine to bring the smell more fully into your being; holding a cup with the fullness of your hands as you sip tea to relish the warmth; closing your eyes to savor the taste of fresh sushi; shutting off the TV and moving closer to listen to a conversation, slow a moment down. Pleasure and delight are an experience that come in such tiny moments that they can be missed in the rush around of daily life. When we take time, we make time to experience a moment.

My daughter's delight in chasing grasshoppers, watching birds, and being with animals, fuels the stories she shares, the questions she asks, and how she spends her time. My son's delight in uniforms, swords, and cars, is seen in the books he reads, the toys he plays with, and the questions he asks.

Joy is found in our random pursuits, but it is not a fixed position. What delights is a moving target. We crush delight when we attempt to finesse it, to catalog it, to know it. Why can't we let the joy in the moment live for a moment? Do we fear that it won't come again in another form? Can we experience a moment with the wild abandon of a child- no judgment, no social concern, no necessity to do it a certain way? A new discovery or a successful venture can create great delight.

My daughter took to crocheting with a vengeance, yesterday, making a seven foot long chain with every free moment she had including recess and play time after school. She wondered, "Is this the world's longest chain?" I replied, "It's the longest and first you've ever made!"

Part of me wants her to enjoy her own experience as enough, but I know it is not an easy lesson. Children, like the rest of us, want validation-- "Look at me!" is a common refrain of childhood. We want to share our delights, but sometimes there is no one looking, reading, or seeing us or our work.

What do you do with the desire to be seen, to be known? We have to create in the absence of validation and accept that sometimes the only reward is the pleasure in the process of the meal we cook, the work we do, or the string we crochet.

We dismiss too much in the  hurly burly days of adult life. Any thing that pauses us, even momentarily, is worth repeating.  If a tiny joy for me might illuminate a tiny joy for you, I think it is worth sharing. We must lean toward generosity and sharing to feel the softness of the world.

I'm newly enamored with jello. I know it is an everyday thing, but it is not everyday when you make it yourself. I pass my delight onto you to encourage you to try your hand at it. It is simple and yet delicious.

Making Peach Jello

Get an envelope of unflavored gelatin or a whole box of them. Mix one envelope (7 gms)  of gelatin into a 1/2 cup of water to soften and set aside. Cut up about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fresh fruit, I used peaches, and place the fruit into serving cups. . Bring to boil a cup of water, 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and 1/3 cup of sugar. When it is at a steady boil, remove from heat. Allow to cool a bit. Stir in the softened gelatin. Ladle the jello over the fruit.  My cups have lids so if you don't have lids, cover them with plastic wrap so the jello does not take on the taste of the refrigerator. Place the cups into the fridge. Allow to chill until set, about 2 hours. Serve when set and cold. (Or just follow the directions on your gelatin packet.)

Homemade peach jello