Frosted gluten-free pumpkin bars with a secret ingredient.
I am less and less enamored with more.
I know. It's showing. My age. My childhood brain was wired for mud and bird calls, blackberry thickets and butterscotch pine. Hours spent reading in a grove of birch trees dug their neural groove. The wild luxuries of inner connection, rather than social networking. And TIME. That plastic, misunderstood, precious commodity that shape-shifts experience from an endless afternoon of liquid daylight into a heart clutching warp speed tumble of confusion. Decades become tiny sandwiches of memory you can barely taste anymore.
Weeks blink by with alarming velocity.
And here we are again.
In pumpkin season.
And so. I stop.
And notice the way the late day sun drops low and shimmers golden in the treeline. The crows are gathering earlier. Glossy black and strutting with authority. The smell of burnished leaves scuttling across a wet Portland sidewalk is the same smell I inhaled on a road trip in Vermont fifteen years ago, standing on a wooden bridge above a clear shallow creek while our sons balanced on the slick rocks below us, fishing for smooth round stones.
Do they remember this? Do they remember the same hours I do, in the sand on Skaket Beach? Do they ever have a sudden itch to feed their senses with the scents and sounds of a freshwater riverbed, a sun warmed tide pool? Do they crave a winding path through apple trees? Were their brains hardwired for this connection, too?
I ponder this as I stir a new pumpkin batter.
And breathe in the scents of ginger and cinnamon, listening to the leafy rustle of an almond flour bag as I fold up the cellophane and pinch it closed with a clothespin.