I am sitting out at the little table in our back garden, under the dappled light of a butterfly bush. I can hear seagulls cawing to each other from the chimney tops. The sound of a bus shifting gears. There is the faint smell of cigarette smoke coming in off the street. It occurred to me yesterday that I will be leaving here in just a few months, and it made me more than ever want to memorize what it feels like to sit out in a tiny back garden on the coast of England. So easy to forget to appreciate things when you still have them.
The past month or so has been strangely difficult. For years I dreamt of having a space where I could sit and do nothing but write this story I’ve had floating around in my mind. It seemed to me that life would feel perfect if I could just have that. To sit each day and venture deep into my own imagination, fill my mind with images and sounds and smells from another time and place, imagine what it would be like to be someone else. And now of course I am doing just that but life is far from perfect, and my days spent writing are not at all the blissful outpouring of creativity I imagined.
Writing is tremendously hard. Each day I have to wage battle with all the negative voices in my head, that tell me I can’t do this, I don’t deserve to do this, I’m going to fail. I wake up in the morning and I am terrified to go back to it again. Sometimes the voices win and I can’t write a word. But when I ask myself if I want to stop, I know that I can’t. I just know, there is this intensity in me to express this thing in myself, and even if no one else cares, if not a single soul ever reads it or likes it or finds something in it that matters, I still have to express it. If I don’t, this spark in me will go out.
So yes, I want to do this, and I want to be here. And therefore I will pay attention to that and open my eyes and look around and remember why I am here, and that I won’t always be.
And I will eat this fruit salad with honey almond sauce every day until the day that I die.
This is a casual recipe. I think it turns out better that way because people tend to measure things out to their own tastes when the instructions are flexible. You can sub in whatever berries or fruits you like, or try other nut butters. Use maple instead of honey if you prefer. The world is your oyster.
- one nectarine or peach, sliced
- a good handful of strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
- a good handful of raspberries
- 1 heaping spoonful of almond butter
- a slightly less heaping spoonful of honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- a splash of almond milk
- Arrange the fruit in a small bowl. Make it lovely. Fruit arranging is very relaxing and who doesn't like having sticky berry stained fingers?
- Over a very low flame, combine the almond butter and honey in a pan and heat until the honey is soft enough to mix in. If you have very runny honey you can skip this step. Remove from heat and add the almond milk in very cautious splashes, mixing it in with a spoon, until the sauce is thinned to a nice hot fudge like consistency. Two splashes should do it (about 2 teaspoons I reckon). Don't despair if you add to much, just add a little extra almond butter to thicken things back up again. Add the vanilla extract and if your almond butter is unsalted, a tiny pinch of salt.
- Generously spoon the sauce over the fruit and enjoy. A handful of granola or toasted oats wouldn't go amiss either. This is equally good as a breakfast, dessert, or snack.