A rich beef stew, deep with flavor, simmering to beautiful completion in a heavy Dutch oven. Aromatic onion and garlic chopped and browned in oil. Tender beef roast cubed generously, floured and seasoned and then perfectly seared. A savory, thick roux. A well seasoned beef stock. Hunks of potatoes and carrot, Crushed whole tomatoes. Celery. Time and heat, patience. Warm cornbread muffins, not too sweet, slathered in butter and served on small side plates or, as some prefer, in the bottom of the bowl under the stew. Curtains and window shades open on the cold, wet grey outside, leaves dancing in the wind. Heavy, steaming bowls and sweaters and family and friends. Games or movies or just talking, laughing.
Hiking boots and comfortable jeans. Layers on top: pocket tee, long-sleeved flannel shirt, light jacket. Clothes without writing or brands on them, simple, real. A walking stick. The smell of firewood burning. Wet grass. Rocky trails with hills, trees, flat, easy fields of grass, a few challenges. Vistas of big, calm water. Glimpses of water running cold over rocks, down through canyons. The sound of water never far away. Cold at dawn that startles your lungs and throat, paints your breath on the air. Cool in the dewy morning. Warm in the afternoon. Long trails that take all day to bring you back to well-deserved rest. Some time alone, some not. Nowhere else to be, nothing waiting to be accomplished. Light, brief afternoon rain with thunder and then grey clouds scuttling apart and away leaving behind shocking, clean blue. Raptors soaring far above. Afternoon long and quiet. Evening slow and sweet. Bedding soft and shared.
Coffee roasting and grinding and brewing. Couches and firm, soft chairs and little, sturdy tables. World music, jazz, reggae or moody indie from all around. Live music in the evening. Books and sketch pads and journals and laptops. Fast internet. Stainless steel spoons and ceramic cups and saucers. Diverse styles, opinions, approaches intermingled amicably. Crowded to the point of communal energy but not bothersome or claustrophobic. Eclectic potpourri of various nuanced bohemian and gypsy sensibilities mixed in generously. Subtle excitement of personal boundaries lovingly and lightly challenged. Memory of clove cigarettes on hemp jackets. Talented someone with a musical instrument in the corner. Who spiked the coffee with mellow creativity? Seeds of a better world planted and cultivated in dim light and cool, smooth mojo.
Hello, friends. That stuff. You know?