A Wabi-Sabi Welcome for Thirteen

Yes, a baker’s dozen we were, some drove hundreds of miles while others just a few to gather, giggle and gobble up all thirteen dishes made in our nest (except for the gelato.)I had no other choice but to embrace the ancient art of wabi-sabi or appreciating the simplicity and serenity in things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.It’s what state the entire nest is in, even the kitchen craves counter stools to complete the atmosphere. Who wants to stand around the counter when you can plop on a stool and relieve your distended feet while gazing at the food-in-the making.On Thanksgiving, I gave thanks to what we had and set aside the need for perfection and instead focused on things as they truly are. All three tables round and rustic, worn and weathered from use and time, turned out to be just the right imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. The older children even communed with the dwarf tropical plants in the mud room…it never looked better.I am forever grateful for this set bestowed to us by the previous owner, for they no longer were in need, but we couldn’t have pulled off this day without it. And how ideal the tiny and low table with its crescent moon seating for the littlest of the bunch.Yes, it was a wabi-sabi gratitude of a day indeed. It was hard to miss the tender and raw beauty of the leaves in process of decay from whichever table guest were seated. A reminder that we too are transient beings; we too are in the process of returning to stardust.Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace both the glory and the melancholy found in marks of passing time. The Japanese word wabi, which means humble, and sabi, which suggest beauty over the natural course of time.While the traditional Cuban cornbread stuffing and bread was made to accompany the bird, my favorite dish was the chocolate soufflé.Of course, I wasn’t the only one, “this is better than Roy’s” a gather commented. It’s from Roy himself, he happened to be at the restaurant and when he veered by the table, you better believe the soufflé recipe was requested. And guess what our wish was granted. He was more than willing to disclose his recipe and it has been enjoyed in our nest on special occasions quite frequently. I believe it’s better because Papa Bear pours his love into everything he makes, plus a good quality chocolate and healthy eggs help too. Now let’s finish up those half-eaten pies and the rest of the soufflé batter, because there’s no other way of eating them but made to order and right out of the oven with a generous scoop of gelato. May you discover wabi-sabi in your nest this holiday season and revere in its authenticity for it’s time to celebrate the cracks and crevices that time leaves behind.

32 thoughts on “A Wabi-Sabi Welcome for Thirteen

  1. Beautiful analogy, if only we could appreciate our lives with its cracks and imperfections, rather than pretend perfection at the expense of our own honest happiness, we would be in harmony. Glad to hear you had a great holiday!

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  2. I’ve never known the meaning of Wabi-Sabi, Cristina, and I love the way you’ve described it in words and illustrated with your photos. I love the way you accommodate your guests and provide such gracious hospitality. It’s about the people who grace our family gatherings more than the beauty of our homes, but I know enough about you to know that with any imperfections you identify, your home is always lovely. And the chocolate soufflé looks incredible. 🙂

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    • Thank you dearest Debra. Yes you are absolutely right, guest do make the home even more beautiful no matter what state the nest is in. I’m learning to accept the impermanence state ours is in; it makes even the littlest changes more cherishing. It’s a new one to me too as I read about the ancient concept last year. Words cannot describe the souffle; it’s been awhile since it was made in our nest…it hit the spot.

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  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog. The Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi helps explain the natural affinity towards antique object. I take that a step further in my appreciation for the beauty found in decay and abandonment.

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    • Yes, there’s not an exact translation, maybe because we are such a young and naive country…so much to learn. I enjoyed stumlbling upon your space, the compositions and patterns you discover in everyday life are intriguing. You have a well trained eye thank you for sharing your talent and stopping by my space.

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