Autumn, fall, osenj – however, you name it, the meaning for me is the same – beauty of colors, crying skies, the imminence of the coming winter. Every fall I start physically feeling worse from the day temperature drops so that I need a jacket to wear. Cold. I stay cold until the first tiny green baby leaves are about to sprout on the trees and bushes.
However, life does not allow you the luxury, does it? So as the famous Baron von Munchhausen I am pulling myself out of bed, as he did out of the swamp…
At this time, the only thing that can somehow make me feel better is the process of cooking.
So, to my tiny kitchen, I am dragging my feet to roast some overpriced organic veggies. What if some magical smell out of the oven will bring my drowned soul back to the surface?
And I take some colorful baby carrots, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower and start cleaning them up. The Jewish way is to make sure the vegetables have no bugs, so this is a process that can take some time. I clean them, take off outer leaves of the sprouts, cut them in half, and then put the cauliflower and Brussel sprouts in a bowl of salty water for about 10 minutes. Then I pick the vegetables up and wash them again.
30-40 minutes later, in the bedroom, I am reminded of this beauty by the smell coming from the other side of the apartment.
Here it is – autumn goodness that temporarily heals.
I eat it reading my favorite Yehuda Amichai:
Once a great love cut my life in two.
The first part goes on twisting
at some other place like a snake cut in two.
The passing years have calmed me
and brought healing to my heart and rest to my eyes.
And I’m like someone standing in the Judean desert, looking at a sign:
He cannot see the sea, but he knows.
Thus I remember your face everywhere
at your ‘face Level.’
My Gd, the soul
you gave me
is smoke –
from never-ending burning
of memories of love.
The minute we are born
we start burning them
and so on
until the smoke
dies, like smoke