“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.” ~ Anne De LenclosWhen I was a girl I used to be afraid of graveyards. A good friend of mine lived in an old farm house, just beyond the edge of town, about half a mile away from my own home. In order to get to her house, I used to have to pass by a graveyard that seemed to stretch forever on both sides of the roadway. My heart would quicken and I would race past on my bicycle as if the hounds of hell itself were after me. This was in broad daylight. I would never have dared to attempt it at night!!
As a adult, I love to wander through graveyards. They are so peaceful and restful. Funny how that goes. Time and experience has taught me that the dead cannot hurt me and I love to walk on the pathways amongst the headstones, reading them and pondering on the people that lay beneath them . . . what sort of lives did they lead, were they rich or poor, happy or sad, did they achieve all that they started out to achieve, or did they leave this plane of existence too soon without having ever reached their goals . . . Life here on earth has lost it’s meaning for them. The toils, and struggles and joys from this lifetime are gone and over.
“For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn/or busy housewife ply her evening care . . . The paths of glory lead but to the grave.” ~Thomas Gray
How many days of our own lives slip away from us, unnoticed and un-appreciated? Some days it seems that we are aware of our inner poet and take note of every precious moment we experience, but then again other days we allow to rush by in a tumult of activity and frenzy, never stopping to appreciate or even register the special little moments that are only ours for the taking. And still yet again, it takes the risk of losing something that we hold dear, to jolt us into awareness, to make us take note of all that we have been taking so very much for granted. These are everyday epiphanies. These little awareness’s of all that we have and should be grateful for, of tragic near misses, a myriad of blessings not counted, these little things that go un-noticed until we risk losing them, or have already bid them farewell, these are the true treasures of our life.
Let us take holdof them before it is too late. Let’s give thanks for each morning that we wake up, and for the rain that sometimes falls. Let us never forget that “there but for the Grace of God go I,” and take hold of the blessing that is simply to be found in being, and in being healthy and alive. Lets us give thanks for our work and for our play. Let us rejoice in the accomplishment of a task completed and the tired feeling that comes at the end of a day, and for a day well lived and used.
In short . . . let us cherish our lives for what they are, every little scrap of them, the good and the bad, for they are only ours to cherish and they all too soon pass away. Let us live as if each day were our last. I think if we thought it could all end tomorrow, each of our today’s would be full of more of a sense of all that we hold dear . . . the flowers would smell a little sweeter, birdsong would dance upon our ears with more breathtaking beauty. It should not have to take our losing it for us to appreciate it all . . . take hold of today and live it, enjoy it, cherish it . . . make it count.
Today was supposed to be Tuesday's With Dorie, and I confess that again, I have not done the challenge. Today's recipe was Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding, pages 410 and 411, as chosen by Lauren of Upper East Side Chronicle. Todd hates chocolate and, to be honest, I just can't afford to eat a whole bread pudding by myself. Not just cost wise, but girth wise as well! If you would like to see this recipe be sure to check out Lauren's page and of course there will be umpteen bazillion delicious versions to take a peek at on the Dorie Blog Roll Page! I did make Todd a simple and homey dessert though . . .
*Molasses Spice Cake, with Ginger Syrup*
Serves 8 to 9
There is nothing more comforting than the homey smell of a cake full of cinnamon and cloves baking in the oven. When you combine that served up warm with bits of preserved ginger and the syrup drizzled over top with a big dollop of whipped cream, well, you’ve just died and gone to heaven!
¾ cup milk
2 TBS calvados
1 ½ tsp cider vinegar
2 cups plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
¾ cup light molasses (over here in the UK use ½ cup of golden syrup and ¼ cup of dark treacle mixed)
4 knobs of preserved ginger, chopped
Syrup from the jar for drizzling
Softly whipped cream
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a non-stick 9-inch square or round baking pan really well and dust the insides with flour. Set aside.
Combine the milk, calvados and vinegar in a small bowl. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves into another bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Add the molasses and mix in well. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet, mixing well after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and then bake it in the pre-heated oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, or until it tests done when a toothpick is inserted in the middle and comes out clean. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool until just warm, or at room temperature.
Cut into 3 inch squares or wedges to serve. Sprinkle each serving with some of the chopped ginger and drizzle some of the syrup from the jar over. Top with a big dollop of whipped cream. Delicious!
PS - My font today has come out all wonky. I have tried to sort it, but am afraid I'll totally mess up so it will have to stay as it is. Computers! Sometimes they can be so annoying!