Periodically you have to shut off the glowing screens, break out from your patterns of eating, sleeping, working, cleaning, and remember the things that matter. For the last few days we’ve been lucky to have family from Portugal in town. Child Harbat and Number Two have been thrilled to spend time with their older cousins, who in turn are thrilled to play with their, as their mother calls them, “American dolls”. I’ve been able to see my home city again through the eyes of visitors, reminded of how energizing it is to live in a coastal city, with the comings and goings of ships, trains, jets, cars. As usually happens when we have guests, we experience a once-a-decade weather event and this time San Diego didn’t disappoint, providing stifling heat, humidity, and clouds when we are normally clear and dry. It didn’t seem to slow down anyone and yesterday we found relief in the misty fog banks at La Jolla. Child Harbat picked her way through slick rocks and cool water to discover tiny crabs, palmate fans of algae, and perfect spiral shells the size of a pinhead.
I also remembered that I used to make bread for fun and not just sustenance. I revived my sourdough starter, which developed a blanket of grey fuzz. In two days a tiny unspoiled sample of that starter had bloomed back, with regular feedings, into a vibrant airy wet dough, and from there into good crusty San Diego sourdough bread.
During this last flush of summer and with family close by I took joy in watching my children play, in exploring on foot, in family, and in good food. These are the things that matter.