This post displays my occasional propensity for pensiveness and reflection. The highest temperature today was 8 degrees. The weather forecaster predicted a low of zero, very cold for here with more snow. In a few months, it is likely we will hit 100. Who would want to live in such a place? Yet people do, worldwide. Some in places much colder and hotter. How and why did they all get to wherever they are? Millennia ago we all migrated from Africa and look at us now. We think we are smarter, better, but are we? Perhaps technologically, but psychologically?? War rages over differences in ethnicity and religion. Clashes for thousands of years change little, just the nature of the weapons, the use of advanced technology. The intent remains the same.
Sunday, I finished a book by the Turkish writer, Elif Shafak. I have read all her books translated into English. This, her latest, Honor, details the effects of the belief in honor of above all else. To paraphrase one of the main characters, a poor man: rich men possess money, fancy cars, lavish houses, travel, but poor men have nothing but their honor. Acting on this belief leaves one family devastated. For those who desire to learn about other cultures and to understand the behavior of the individuals in them, I highly recommend this novel.
Earlier, I donned two pairs of gloves and socks, four layers of clothes, and ventured out. If you own horses, you have to feed them regardless of the weather. Unlike me, my dog, Isabella, fares well in this weather. Her part wolf blood gives her an undercoat perfect for winter extremes. Inside, I viewed my larder–what to cook on a frigid winter night? A simple chicken curry with onions, brussels spouts, jalapeño peppers, and chicken with Jasmine rice, red, white, and black. And a glass of red wine, cabernet franc, from a local winery, the only wine I have ever seen from only this one grape. It is usually added to blends. Definitely haram–still thinking about that book.
As the temperature drops, building a fire in the wood stove seems like a reasonable endeavor. I love fires but hate to build them. Nevertheless, sitting in front of the fire reading brings a silent joy, a paradise. I feel at peace: chores done, warm house on a frigid winter night, satisfying dinner homemade, and the knowledge that my book of poetry lays in its final stages with the editors and photoshoppers who will make it publication ready. I feel extremely grateful, looking forward to dazzling dreams on the rim of wonder.