With September coming to a close (already!?), I have been reflecting on some of my favourite moments and wanted to compile a list of what has been sparking joy in my life; I would love to repeat this ritual at the end of each month or two and share it with you all. Here are 6 things that I have enjoyed over the past several weeks in the categories of making, watching, experiencing, learning, listening and reading.
Making: Fire Cider
If you have never heard of fire cider, it is a folk/herbal remedy designed to boost the immune system, improve digestion, warm the body during the cooler months and keep illness at bay. A friend and I made a recipe from this beautiful book but you can find a similar recipe and instructions here. Along with being delicious and really fun to make, it has been the most beautiful ritual to take a dose each morning as a preventative wellness measure, coinciding with the start of the fall season. It can also be taken in greater quantities if you feel a cold or flu coming on. Making a homemade batch of this was on my fall wish list and it turned out so well that there is already another round infusing in the cupboard.
Watching: Chef’s Table
If you have Netflix, you may be familiar with the Chef’s Table series- it is truly one of my favourite shows on the platform. Each episode is a cinematic work of art and I get drawn in to the culture, personal stories and craft of each featured chef. The series came out with a new chapter recently called Chef’s Table: Pizza, and ever since devouring those four episodes I’ve been compelled to slowly re-watch some of the past seasons. One 45-minute episode of this documentary series transports me to another world and has been a comforting escape as the evenings get darker.
Experiencing: Autumn Colours Emerging
So many of the parks on Vancouver Island have become luminous with the changing autumn leaves this past month and it brings new magic and wonder to my nature walks (see more of the island autumn experience here). There is something about the slight shift in weather that brings an invigorating energy to the forest and I feel such a deep sense of calm and peace while walking amongst the crisp, fluttering leaves as they surrender themselves back to the earth. This season is a time for grounding, a time for slowing down, and I have found myself aligning with these values while immersed in the beauty of the autumn woods.
Learning: To Bake Bread
Baking homemade bread became a major trend during the pandemic, but was not one that I followed; however, I have always wanted to try it. To celebrate the turn of the season, I decided to finally give it a go. Thus far, I have made 3 attempts with a result of only two moderately successful (and edible) loaves, but the process is SO therapeutic and pleasurable. I love baking generally, so to work with yeast and dough- and the glorious smell it brings to your home- has been a great joy. Given that I have had limited success, if you have a tried-and-true simple bread recipe to make at home please share it with me below- I would be so grateful!
Listening: Autumn Acoustic Playlist on Spotify
These cozy, gentle folk tunes have been on repeat in my life the last few weeks; the songs set the stage for a calm and lovely commute to-and-from work or while relaxing at home on the weekends. I absolutely love the spirit of this style of music as it really channels the yin energy and mood of the cooler months. Do you tend to change what you are listening to based on the seasons? I find it to be a lovely way to honour and mark the shift.
Reading: Underland: A Deep Time Journey, Robert Macfarlane
I have two books on the go right now, but this one has taken center stage in September. Underland explores the theme of deep time, which is ‘the multimillion year time frame within which scientists believe the earth has existed, and which is supported by the observation of natural, mostly geological, phenomena.’ Certainly not a light book, but an absolutely fascinating one. The author takes you around the world as he explores the deepest, darkest depths of our planet and the stories these areas have to tell. It is written in a beautiful, poetic fashion and is best consumed slowly, as the material can be intense at times.
What is one thing that has brought you joy this month? Let me know in the comments below!