One of the first things I noticed when I walked into my room after returning from Christmas break was that the leaves on the tree outside my window had mostly fallen and only sparse, uneven bunches on the lower branches remained. These still cling to the tree in their brown shrivelled state.
As I listen to the wind and watch it shake these persistent leaves, they continue to hold on.
Just a few minutes ago I was outside, facing the same temperamental wind, wondering at times how my feet were still holding on to the ground as gentle gusts built to a violent momentum and then dropped back down to stillness.
The first leg of my walk around campus was the worst. I had to consciously lean into the wind and turn my squinted eyes downward. About halfway along this straight path with nothing but the aggressive sound of the wind in my ears I almost turned around, ready to forfeit my walk just to feel the wind at my back.
However, as I began to come up with cliché life metaphors for this wind, I determined to continue through while memories of windy times entered my mind. They are sweet memories. The kind of memories that cause the corners of my mouth to curl upward until I stop myself from breaking into a full blown smile or laugh. You know what I mean, right?
The windiest place I have ever been is Pali Lookout on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. My favorite impressions of this place are from a home video when I was about one year old. Too young to remember (in fact, I wasn't even present. I was tucked away in the car with my mom) my older brother Jared and my dad walked toward the peak. In the video Jared takes off the pointy hood of his sweatshirt and gives the camera a comical grin as his golden brown hair is whipped around. (Then he proceeds to weave in and out of the railings leading to the peak by climbing over and flipping through -- something I'm sure he would still love to do if he could.)
Though I can assume we made it back up to Pali Lookout at least once in our Hawaii stops between New Zealand and the USA from 1990 to 1994, the personal experiences I recall there are from a trip with my sister and aunt at age thirteen and once again with a larger collection of the family when I was sixteen. Memories like these are always so precious. I have been blessed by an amazing family, both immediate and extended, and it's always fun to spend time with such people in a place where you can count on a powerful wind. Whipped and ratted hair, shouted conversations, wisely paranoid women pressing their skirts to their legs, these are all common sights at Pali Lookout.
So as my mind's eye filtered through memories I eventually made it to a bend in the path and entered peaceful air. By the time I was back in my apartment, I was thinking of a warm soup or hot bath for my chilled yet refreshed body.
Since I finished off the last of an amazing soup yesterday, I'll have to opt for a bath after I post this. But now is where I tell you about that soup.
My sister emailed me the recipe a couple weeks ago, which she found on the website of a Northwest restaurant we love. While we usually go to Anthony's for the Bailey's Irish Cream Mousse, I will certainly look for this item on the menu next time because I don't think I could ever get sick of it (...and then I'll finish it off with the mousse!).
The ingredients blended into a very lovely soup, creamy from the potatoes and sweet from the parsnips and pears. Perfect for wintertime.
And, because I'm pleasantly surprised by the beginnings of my breadmaking ventures, I have to sneak in a picture of the loaf I made to go along with it. Not bad, aye?
Soup. Bread. I think my stomach just grumbled.
Find the recipe at the bottom of this page on Anthony's site:
Parsnip, Potato, and Pear Soup.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Posted by Lael Meidal at 3:09 PM