Amazed – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#29)

29 12 2015

We used to have an Asian fusion restaurant here in town with the most amazing kimchi. The owner made it on-site, and it was on my top ten list of all-time favorite foods. If you’re not familiar with kimchi, it’s kind of a Korean version of sauerkraut, only chunkier, and spicier, and with a lot more flavors. Anyway, the restaurant closed, and I’ve been on a quest to find a replacement for Chandra’s kimchi ever since with no luck. So, I’ve decided to try and make it myself. I don’t know if you’ve ever made kimchi, but it’s a pretty fun process. You chop up your cabbage and carrots and daikon and onions and garlic, put it in a big bowl with lots of salt and proceed to beat the living daylights out of it with a wooden club – for a long time. Then you let it rest for a bit, add in some more salt, seaweed, Sriracha, red pepper paste and fish sauce. I like everything that’s in kimchi on its own (except the fish sauce,) but I’m telling you what – those ingredients taste nothing like kimchi. Even when they’re all mixed together, still definitely not kimchi. The next part of the process is where the magic happens. You put your mixture in a jar, cap it using an airlock, cover it with a towel, and wait. Mine has been sitting for about 10 days now. I checked on it today, and took a sample taste – and it’s happening!! All these individual ingredients are coming together to create something entirely new and wonderful. You really can’t rush it though. If I impatiently end the waiting process now, instead of allowing it to continue for another 3 – 4 weeks what I’m eating will probably taste ok, but it won’t be the world’s most amazing kimchi. That process of fermentation, where chemicals act and react on a set of ingredients to transform them into something entirely new and delicious, only occurs with time. Truth be told, life’s most amazing gifts are realized best, across time. Our culture is one of speed and efficiency. We rush from activity to activity, from one event to the next, treating time as though it were an adversary to be defeated, rather than an ally to assist in our transformation. Why don’t we slow down, and wait for a spell? He, the creator of all things, wants to take the disparate ingredients of our circumstances and make them work together for our good. Wait, and be amazed at the transformation in our lives, in our relationships, in our hearts.
  





Level – Advent Photos (2015#12)

10 12 2015

Our house is a small bungalow with three levels, so you spend a lot of time going up and down. Sometimes, I hate the stairs (mainly at night when I need to use our single bathroom on the first floor,) but other times, when I’m writing or studying upstairs with the daily tasks of life like dishes, laundry, mopping, cooking…completely out of my line of sight, I’m grateful for the separation. In a way, Advent is sort of like being up on that top level for a piece of time, a space where the turmoil and tasks of everyday life can be shut away for a bit, and our focus can sit  without distraction, on the sacred. A space where I wait for the divine to rest on the mundane, imbuing it with grace and beauty that I forget to see in the business of everyday life. So, I’ll be waiting, up here on this level for just a while longer.