at least over here in our parts, we all loose something as a result.Passion. Yes, it’s hissing out of us like the steam spewing from rooftops. This deep, lingering stretch of winter has us resorting to making affogato at 7:30 p.m. Yes, oldest bear blithely went over to the espresso machine with his bowl full of ice cream and treated himself to his latest epic discovery. The last creamy bit was knocked back like a shot of whiskey. Down the gullet it went on a Friday evening.
There are worst things, I tell myself, and hold back my comment of, “Don’t make it a habit.” In the adjacent room the couch cushion is off to a slant; ready for toddler acrobatics and perhaps a jittery middle schooler. I remained in the kitchen to restore some order and maybe without a podcast on, I would loose myself to thoughts, inspiration perhaps while the smell of eucalyptus wafts in the air. A few little drops in the humidifier to lift the spirits and distract me from the rooms that crave a fresh and vibrant coat.A neighborhood joint would be ideal tomorrow evening, the one where the mixolgist knows me by name and doesn’t have to ask what I would like to drink while I wait for a bowl full of ramen.Then again I am tired of defending myself from the cold with an extra layer of wool, and the hat that saves me from doing a thing to my coif because it doesn’t come off until I’m back in the warm and toasty nest. I’ve felt a sense of guilt corralling little bear in the nest, as cozy as it is with bone broth simmering for days on the stove top while eager bodies season their bowls adding black rice noodles and ladling the steamy broth. Stirring warily, we watch the cumin, turmeric and pepper flakes swirl. Next generous squeezes of lemon juice, spritzes of aminos and tamari mingle with its humble counterparts to satisfy our taste buds and slowly thaw our bones.I haven’t been able to gather the entire brood, but museum hopping with two of the three bears, mostly one, has been a big hit. The newborn sloth won our hearts at the Aviary, and the indoor slides gave us a run for the money, since our only couch (note: said couch doubles for a trampoline and slide when cushion is off to the side) is currently the napping place for middle bear who is infected with a virus. Sometimes self-care hits us hard and knocks us down, even the most energetic of us fall. Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil (even better if you can visit a farmer’s market or floral shop for some fresh and supple eucalyptus leaves) in a steamy bowl are just what middle bear’s lungs need right now.Even if you are not ailing, welcoming this heavenly scent through your pores will revitalize you from seasonal dreariness. For your edification and delight I will share my steam ritual to make February a little more bearable. Add some extra water to your teapot when making tea and pour a steamy bowl. Place eucalyptus leaves if on hand or a few drops of oil and place towel over head to create steam tent. Breathe deeply and enjoy 5-15 minutes; take this time to completely clear the mind or set intentions and offer gratitude. Strain remaining leaves to enhance your next bath. It’s a vibrant and powerful scent so you may not want to revere the steam before you lay your head to rest. Be gentle with yourself, enjoy a few moments of luxury. Don’t let go of those moments, they are just a few minutes in your day, because you may not see the sun for days.