Back to the Things That Matter

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.

CH at La Jolla cove

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.

SD Sourdough closeup

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.

Writer, architect, father, husband.

Posted in Baking, Events, San Diego Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
3 comments on “Back to the Things That Matter
  1. Babs says:

    You have your priorities right!

  2. Ian says:

    Yes, having just spent a weekend exploring castles and caves with our two youngest I can understand your sentiments. The warm feeling you get inside from spending quality time with the family makes up for the rest of the year working. I love to see and hear the squeals of delight, surprise or horror as they experience things for the first time. In our girls case it was horror at descending hundreds of steep slippy stone steps down into a cave or being driven around mountain passes with sheer drops to one side, the surprise of finding fossils and glowing slimy mineral deposits and gemstones on cavern walls deep underground or delight at witnessing a display of 17th century horse riding inside the great hall of a castle. Great memories and a great time had by all.

  3. Peter Soutowoo says:

    I love this story and agree that it’s fantastic to experience the world again through your children, to see how amazing even the smallest things are. And that cave sounds fascinating!

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