I love fall. I don’t know if it’s because my birthday lands on the autumn equinox, appointing me the autumn ambassador, but I simply love fall. Come October, Sonoma County is graced with wispy, low, early morning fog, headless horseman weather. Through the feathered haze, one can see orange globes, the jewels of the pumpkin patches, dotted across the earth, waiting to be plucked and carved. Clear, blue skies adorn the afternoons, crisply kissing my cheeks. I am reminded winter is around the corner, for the temperature sinks, inspiring me to cuddle up, seeking warmth. The trees shimmer in amber, gold and crimson. They shutter, and it snows dried leaves, littering lawns and streets. Fireplaces are filled; wood is lit, infusing night air with a forest spice. I inhale the nostalgia. The promise of the nearing holidays sooth my soul on a primitive level. I am still that child that loves to dress up for Hallows Eve. I want to be thrilled, chilled and tempted by mystery and sweet treats.
Halloween crept up and rested on a Saturday this year. I spent the day puttering around the house, allowing my domestic whims and the day’s hours to sweep me into early evening.
There is something so pure about a woman who toils in the home, polishing and primping her sanctuary, her nest. She is considered plain to the metropolitan eye. No make-up, hair pulled back, barefoot, wearing jeans and a thin t-shirt, she is dressed perfectly for the occasion. If she finds her work fulfilling, as I do, she glows. She is beautiful in her simplicity, hiding nothing, fanning her true colors like a rainbow across the sky. Her spirit is expansive, and her home fills with her heart. Anyone who walks in will feel it, smell it and be nurtured by it. This was me on Hallows Eve before my witching hour.
This is me on any given homey afternoon. But, Saturday, October 31, was no ordinary afternoon. Knowing I would go out to see what haunts the holiday had in store, I began my meticulous transformation. I love dressing up, impersonating a fantasy. This year I pieced my costume together partly from my own closet and partly from my Halloween costume collection. I was unsure the outcome; but, I was sure if I followed my soul’s desires, I would create a look that I would find enchanting. I was inspired by a black Parisian gown, my new bindi and a recent interest to decorate myself in henna. The result- I evolved into a French fortune teller named Madame Crystal.
The evening was visited by many characters. Tricksters and players wandered the darkness, giggling, admiring and delighting. I, myself, sunk deep into the night. The hours clicked by without notice. Before I realized, 3am snuck up and nipped at my ankles. It was time to wash off the evening energies, the thick, black eyeliner and crawl snuggly between my sheets. This little pumpkin head needed to rest.
7am rolled by and parked its carriage next to my bed, waiting to carry me away from slumber. I awoke, thinking how grateful I am that I am RAW. I imagined most of the witches and goblins of Hallows Eve arose to sugar or alcohol induced headaches and sleep filled eyes, but not I. I popped up and met All Saints Day as it greeted me in return with that early morning, low lingering fog I adore. The morning was quiet, for many of the city’s inhabitants were sleeping off the witchy spells of the preceding night. I rolled out of bed and up to my laptop, checking my email first thing. I received a message from We Like it Raw. In it was a link to a Youtube video of Tim Van Orden and Courtney Pool. I watched the 3 minute video titled Spirulina Salad with Courtney Pool. I was immediately motivated to spend my morning gobbling up greens, staining my teeth in an emerald brilliance. How ghoulish, I thought as I chuckled to myself, knowing that I would be one of the few in town who would awake on the morning after Halloween craving sprouts and algae.
The early hours ticked on. I never did get to that salad; though, it is on my list of recipes to make this week. Instead, I filled my morning with errands that kept me out of the kitchen. By 10am, hunger tugged at my stomach. My green salad craving needed attention, calling me into action. Remembering that Café Gratitude opens at 10am on Sundays, I pointed my car towards Healdsburg.
There is something so wonderful about having delicious raw foods made for me. Often, I am the one creating such dishes. When I have the opportunity to relish in such wholesome culinary offerings, I do so with pure graciousness and love. I ordered an entrée called, “I am Fulfilled,” a large salad chock full of greens, sprouts, tomato, cucumber, carrots, beets and avocado, tossed in a creamy, raw, vegan caesar dressing and garnished with a flax cracker.
I felt so at peace while I dined. I gave thanks for my life and the treasures within it. I blessed the season. I blessed the day, World Vegan Day. I blessed my food, and I blessed myself as I slowly ate. I giggled to myself as I enjoyed my abundant salad, thinking it was an odd breakfast choice for the average person. It was a breakfast of champions, a breakfast of raw girls like me. And, what do raw girls like me do after nibbling up a robust salad? Well, they order dessert, of course!
Featured here is Café Gratitude’s raw cacao hazelnut pie. It was divine. I can happily report, I have embraced autumn and the first festive holiday of the season without a single piece of commercial candy. Fresh raw desserts are my treat of choice. I sat in the restaurant, delighting in the raw chocolate goodness, grateful for its availability. Pure bliss was gobbed on the end of my fork; and as I slipped each bite of the rich chocolate between my lips, I could think of little more than how wonderful is life.
I love fall and everything it represents.
Cherish your life. Everything is a gift. Treasure it all. Honor your inner child. Play. Love. Celebrate.
Comments on: "Happy All Hallows Day" (4)
Comment from JAPA
Well this world has a better chance than at one time in the past I thought possible. There was a time, in the day, that to be a vegetarian meant staying home and eating. I remember unwrapping a dolma to only eat the green.
Reading your words encourages me to pursue renewed interest in green, the green of raw. We are what we ingest and over 118 degrees life force is nil. Dr. Pat Flanagan years ago observed Somatids, the light bodies of life giving vitality at about 6000 times magnified with his Naessens microscope. They were abundant in fresh picked squeezed orange juice and scant few in an orange from a typical grocery store. Dr. A. Sattilaro with his book, “Recalled by Life,” wrote of the healing potential of the Macrobiotic (Michio Kushi’s) diet that in fact healed his terminal cancer within a few short months. Today courageous persons as you take it down to the basics of real sustaining vitality and health a turning back to our world and our personal wellness by showing us omnivores the wisdom of not cooking what we eat. I am encouraged.
Shana your wisdom of eating local and green may not be new with your efforts but you have a wonderful way of describing, creating interest and your tasty recipes are exciting. Those I have enjoyed are delicious. I am sure you will bring healthy great combinations of the local bounty and be triumphant in helping us not so green to “get with the program.” I watch your activity with interest and do enjoy reading your thoughts and wish you the success you deserve.
This is my first ever computer connection to another but I was motivated by your easy and enjoyable writing, storytelling and friendly style and your enthusiasm. I feel a stirring to get back to what you show is fun, life sustaining, tasty, good to eat while creating vitality. Maybe as I green more I will be able to walk with a lighter spring (no pun intended) in my steps after years of eating everything from the world grocery.
Japa, Thank you so much for sharing all your thoughts here. I am so grateful that my story-like blog post has reminded and inspired you to add a little more green to your diet. It is all about foods that taste good, feel good and, yes, foods that create vitality! 🙂
Blessings to you in vibrant health!
Lol u look hot!!!! That is a look! The pie looks delicious!!! Xoxox
Tomara, that was indeed quite a look and a very fun part to play out. 🙂 I LOVE the masquerade element of Halloween! If I had it my way, there would be masquerades throughout the year held in grand fashion. Fun fun! And, yes, this raw cacao hazelnut pie was divine. I hope you get the chance to visit Cafe Gratitude yourself and try out their AMAZING desserts.