Just Be. That was my mandate.
What does that mean to you?
To me, in the two hours I had, it meant this.
Cooking. I love being in the kitchen, chopping and sauteing, reducing and creating. Not the daily grind kind of cooking, but the truly creative kind that turns out a sublime meal.
Reading. No brainer. I just returned a half dozen books to the library that I had renewed once but somehow still never had time to read. Shameful. I was going to read something in my two hours.
Silence. This, after all, was the point. To take away some of the noise that surrounds me 24/7.
Music. This is not as contradictory as it sounds. After the silence, music. It's good for the soul. But my music. Not anyone elses tonight.
There were lots of other things I could have picked. Writing. A bath. Walking the dog. Playing my guitar. But I did only have 2 hours.
So wrapped in my plaid, the dog and I sat outside in the crisp silence of a velvet night and looked up at the stars. Then I got out salmon and various other ingredients, put on some music (Rita MacNeil), and did some prep cooking like wrapping a head of garlic in foil and popping it in the oven with the potatoes.
Now I had 40 minutes to do whatever I wanted. I took a glass of chablis and my December Canadian Living magazine that has just arrived into the living room and read until the timer went off.
Then it was back to finish the salmon and stuff the potatoes, and whip up a decadent beurre blanc sauce, finishing off just as the headlights of the van flashed into the driveway at 8pm.
Once the kids were in bed, Andrew and I sat down to a candlelit dinner.
I felt restored. The power of being able to just be.