How do you pass your time?

To me, time has been measured by these experiences that have touched my heart. This time of year time is expansive. Warmth permeates every crevice of the day and into the night. The sun pushes its luck and some days feels like a guest that has slightly overstayed her welcome. Right now is when I think of growth and the unfolding of a summer farming season. The heat loving crops are going into the ground: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, basil, eggplant…and my mind is already tumbling forward to the time when that first zucchini flower will appear and the first blush will creep into the strawberries. In the summer, I count time in how long it takes to cook a juicy burger on the grill and in tosses of the Frisbee before the light fades into the evening…

If I remind myself to live in the moment, I find myself relishing my current vegetable obsession: asparagus. I cannot believe how fast it grows! If it had not been me that had harvested the patch yesterday, I would be shaking my head at how many stalks got missed in that harvest. Today, the ambitious green spears climb towards the sun and it looks like it hasn’t been touched in a week! I’m finding all kinds of ways to love these tender little asparagi’s…marinated and grilled, lightly sautéed on the stovetop, and my new favorite way to enjoy it: cooked and pureed, then chilled as soup. In the spring, I am counting time in asparagus inches…

asparagus soup

To me, as the breezes cool and the rustle of leaves takes over the auditory landscape I can’t help but think of basketball. When fall sets in, the pull of my adolescent passion is ingrained in my memory. I hear the squeak of sneakers on hardwood floors and the sweet swish of the net as baskets are made. Sounds of high fives from layup lines, and whistles across gymnasiums….ah! I counted time in 15 minute quarters, two minutes until subbing in, 20 minute halves, and pickup games to 11…

Then, when the sun is on its way out, making shorter visits…I rely on the memory of warmth. The winter, to me, still means fires in a wood stove after a day of playing in the snow. Hiking in the mountains or skiing or curled up with a good book and a hot cup of earl grey tea with milk and honey. My winter is marked by softer time, like the gentle fall of a snow on pine and juniper branches…

How do you measure time? Is it in units of minutes and hours and days? As the cast of the musical Rent sings: “How do you measure a year? How about love?”

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