Late-summer caponata and yogic musings
Today was one of those perfect, stormy Sunday mornings where the rain is hitting the windows, thunder is rolling somewhere in the distance, but you are cozy and warm in bed with nowhere else to be. Perfect.
And yet I find myself here at the dining table, the house still, writing to you.
Last night I went to an amazing philosophy session at my yoga studio. Suffice to say, mind = blown. So many ideas - not all of them new. But I'm starting to put together the strings between them. Take the word "namaste", an acknowledgement that we are all the same; you, me, and the criminal down the road - we are all the same, though we've taken different journeys. If you believe in the big bang theory, quite literally, the matter we are made up of is all the same; it all came from the same energy source. When we were born, we were essentially the same blank canvas. When we die, that energy returns to the earth.
Over our lives we learn behaviours and develop triggers based on our experiences, our injuries, and the praise we've been given in the past. These experiences give us gifts and cause us suffering all in the same breath; the praise I was given as a child for being good in school put me on a path to seek external validation in being traditionally 'successful'. This path has given me many gifts; dedication and drive, a thirst for knowledge, seeking quality in everything I do. But has also given me the tendency to forget to listen to myself, to pigeonhole myself, and to struggle to let go.
We are all the same, just having travelled different paths. My own gifts and struggle do not make me any better or worse than someone else; we are just suffering and flourishing in different ways. We can each seek to understand and acknowledge the root causes of these destructive behaviours, but must take our own journey to get there, with all its ups and downs.
I love that.
So as I sit here on a rainy early autumn morning, with the cleansing rain hitting the windows, I think about how the peak of summer is fading, taking its heat and its fruits. All that beautiful summer produce - tomatoes, eggplants, capsicums - they are just peaking at their best, but will be gone before we know it. So now is the time to soak it all up; love it, relish it, and nourish your body for the lows of the winter ahead.
And what better way than with a glorious caponata. Essentially a Sicillian stew, caponata is packed full of summer eggplant and zucchini and tomatoes, simmered alongside olives and capers into a rich and complex dish. Serve this up with a loaf of crusty sourdough or roasted potatoes, and you'll have a perfect dish to savour the heat of summer on cooler autumn nights.