I awoke early. I set an intention of ease. My Saturday started with my weekly stroll to the farmers market. I had twelve whole hours to get ready. There would be no rushing.

List in one hand, two bags in the other, I took my time perusing the stalls for the perfect ingredients.  After tasting the samples I made my purchases. Parsley. Mint. Scallions. Cucumbers. Tomatoes.

Once home, I penned my agenda for the day on the back of an envelope. 

Make tabbouleh

Ready the rooftop

Tidy apartment

Assemble dishes

Prepare drinks

Get ready

I resisted the urge to add a detailed time line. I only had to prepare the main course. This was going to be easy.

As the quinoa cooked, I chopped. Two bunches of mint. Two bunches of parsley. One giant of scallions. Somewhere between the cucumbers and the tomatoes I felt it. The settling in to the present.

I reflected back to a time when my late husband was still well enough to eat, and how I would relax into Sunday summer afternoons cooking from the bounty of summer’s harvest. Nothing seemed more important than mincing fresh ginger to for the broccoli miso. Back then it was a joyful necessity. Now it seemed an indulgent luxury to squeeze the juice out of a half dozen lemons.

For a time I found it. The present moment. Eckhart Tolle’s power of now.  Eternal time. My mind quieted, I was at peace.

And then I looked at the clock. Hours had passed without my noticing. While I was in the flow, time had flown by.  A party for ten would be starting in under two hours. Suddenly the once stopped time began to zoom faster by the minute.

Prepare drinks would mean chill the chardonnay, ice the soft drinks, and make a pitcher of cucumber water. No time for the specialty ginger cocktail in gold rimmed champagne glasses. Skip the extra appetizer. Setting up the coffee to accompany dessert would have to wait.

I had just hopped out of the shower when my co-host arrived to help. I immediately began giving directives to retrieve the ice and carry a tray of dishes up the spiral staircase to the deck on the roof. Time was of the essence. 

My fellow Birthday Club guests arrived, bearing delights from caprese salad and bottles of wine to Lithuanian torte and homemade apple pie. 

Before long I forgot all about my undone tasks. We ate, drank, listened, and laughed. The tabbouleh for ten was a hit. The sun went down. The cake came out with the moon. The candles lit and gifts given. Everyone was grateful.

My heart was whole. My hope is to remember to set my clock to summer time in any season.

Coach Koenig

When are you in the flow of your life?

What are you willing to leave “undone” in your day?

How might you be more present to the simply joys of this season?

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