The transition from the work of the semester to the expectation of summer at your doorstep is never as easy as it sounds--even as you plan to relax, your mind keeps going back to that one unfinished bit of grading, those future lesson plans you want to polish up, even going as far back as that one lecture that may or may not have come out right. Faster and faster your mind spins, almost afraid that if you were to leap off the merry-go-round of work, there would be nothing there to catch you.
But you've expected this, made plans, knowing full well how your mind likes to spin faster and faster if you don't take hold of it. So you do the things you do to unwind, reversing the movement, the shape of your brain from a tightly wound spool of thread to an ever-unfurling flower under the sun's caress.
First, you surround yourself with stories--old ones and new ones, movies and books, TV shows and poems. You saturate yourself in other worlds, from steampunk adventures to Nero Wolfe and Phryne Fisher's hedonistic mysteries to Rilke to sci-fi television. You let the stories of your school year fade as you breathe in other narratives of bigger worlds--a reminder that life is an abundance of experiences beyond filling out the grade sheet.
Then you cook--a lot. You decide it is high time to try a new recipe; you lose yourself in learning how to make zucchini fritters for dinner, enjoying the silky texture of shredded zucchini in your hands as you form the little cakes for frying. You play with your panna cotta recipe--the one you never quite got down, easy as it is. You toy with inventing a new cocktail.
Eventually, you lose track of time between your gentle yoga practice and tending your patio plants. You find yourself sitting on your patio watching the red-breasted finches eat fat black sunflower seeds from your bird feeders thinking only that a bubble bath would be nice. You have set aside your reading and your cup of green tea has long been finished. Your mind is pleasantly unfocused.
Without quite realizing it--between your afternoon reading on the porch or your wine with your bubble bath--you have bravely jumped off the spinning carnival ride of work and found firm ground beneath your feet. It was there all along. You only had to take the leap.
Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational collection of musings touching on life’s simple pleasures, everyday enchantments, and delectable recipes that will guarantee to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe here.