I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity... Oliver Wendell Holmes
When I spend an entire afternoon cleaning up after a Snow Leopard encounter (the new Mac OS guaranteed to turn all QuickBooks files to confetti) followed by a three-hour weed-whacker symphony (courtesy of my neighbor’s yard service) I crave quiet simplicity.
Peace, contemplation, reflection…the space that allows us to recharge our battery, listen to our intuition and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
Lately I have been craving that kind of experience. After spending the summer in Vermont, living in an open-air cabin, waking to the sound of the loons and the crickets, I find myself particularly susceptible to the cacophony of city life and not so sure I want to acclimate just yet.
Being in the rhythm of nature…eating according to the seasons, waking with the sun and listening to the sounds of life around us…enables us to see the connectedness of ourselves to something infinite and helps to take the edge off of the things that just don’t matter.
When I get overwhelmed with the complexities of life, there are a few things that always seem to put me right: First, I remove the clutter that keeps me distracted. Next, I unplug and look for contemplative time either by sitting in meditation or walking in the woods. And most importantly, I try to connect to things that are beautiful, like a simple bouquet of zinnia from my garden… or a platter of figs.
Figs are sexy in that that food porn sort of way. Out of hand (or better yet, out of someone else’s hand) figs are the absolute perfect food. Delicate and sweet, softly yielding to the bite while offering textural interest on the palate… you can’t rush when eating a fig, because it draws you in to the sensuality of the moment.
All of the sudden, the world becomes a little sweeter. The weed whackers yield to the songbirds and the figs find their way to a bed of arugula with thinly sliced prosciutto and Manchego… a statement of sublime elegance and simplicity and a gorgeous way to start the weekend.