A lot can happen in a day around here, a two-hour school delay because of the flakes that accumulated overnight but not dense enough of a blanket to last late afternoon due to rapidly rising temperatures that still warn us to keep our boots on lest we want mud-splattered sneakers. It’s quite a tease for the little bears who have yet to test their doughnut sled on hills of that glistening white magical blanket, but instead sample it as a lounge chair indoors the last couple of months. It makes for a comfy reading spot with many books on hand thanks to our friendly neighborhood library. While it hasn’t carried us on our first thrill down an icy patch, I am grateful for a place to hang out in and hang onto those rare moments in between. The older bears have been struck by seasonal blues with our early to rise and late to bed because of all we must fit in…not so much leisure these days with the trappings of our daily lives. I’ve been meaning to get out to sweep the porch of the leaves, four inches of snow prevented me at first but now with none, I’m busy sweeping up crumbs indoors.And while they stopped dancing in the wind months ago, I’m at peace with them hanging out for as long as they want…there’s much to do inside the nest. I’ll deal with the brittle and crunchy leaves on brighter days. A recent read of A Leaf Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas illustrations by Violeta Dabija, poetically explores the roles leaves play throughout the year to many that roam this planet. Even now as they lay dormant they can be laudable as a snake concealer and a ground warmer. The illustrations are whimsical and demonstrate to even a toddler that leaves are quite extraordinary and should not be taken for granted. A nest former is one of the more obvious roles of leaves but others like a fine healer is an astonishing role we have grown detached from with too many synthetic substitutes tempting us like sweets in a candy shop. The images of a shade spiller and mouth filler would make most think twice about cutting down a tree…a soft cradle and water ladle also have sweet and endearing art work. The role that most directly touches us, the sun taker and food maker, well let’s hope we are not somberly signing to Joni Mitchell’s lyrics of “Big Yellow Taxi.”
So while my older bears plod along because of long division or rivers of Latin memorization or whatever is crushing school children’s souls these days, I am hoping for one more generous cover of a blanket that keeps at least a day or two so that spirits may soar again and get us by until Spring Break. Since I am a bit less ambivalent about our new digs upon entering our nest, what’s another layer or two of snow especially when I can whisk up some homemade hot chocolate for a little restoration of the heart and a few minutes to enjoy smiling faces without saying a word. Cacao contains magnesium, infamous for its relaxing properties, theobromine, an alkaloid substance and a mild cardiovascular stimulant unlike caffeine which is a nervous system stimulant and of course it also contains anandamine the bliss chemical and PEA the love chemical. Cheers to the brief moments of silence, pause and fallowness, because what seems like nothing is really something.
No Recipe Hot Chocolate
Pour milk of choice, we love our local raw milk, in sauce pan on a low simmer. Add a couple of tablespoons of cacao and whisk immediately add a teaspoon of coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon to taste. Pour the frothy mix into your favorite mug and enjoy!