I was recently turned on to an episode of Rob Bell’s podcast which particularly resonated with me. In it, he talks about how moving through life is often like moving from one season, into the next.
New seasons, he says, can actually be terrifying. You’re figuring them out as you go. Just as you got used to how things were, you are forced to figure out how the new stuff works. And saying goodbye to one season, can often feel like a loss. “New seasons begin and sometimes what you have to do,” he says “is grieve for the passing of the old season.” We all know what its like when we can’t seem to move forward and embrace the next thing (even if it’s objectively exciting – getting accepted into a university, a new relationship, a promotion), and often it’s because we haven’t truly said goodbye to the things we left behind in the old season.
As we approach the end of summer and the beginning of fall, we are in what he calls “liminal space”. “One season has ended but it doesn’t feel like the next one has started, he says. “That relationship, job, season marriage has ended, but I feel like I know what the next thing is.” In liminal space we feel like we are stuck in the in between. We aren’t in one thing or the other, and we don’t like the tension. We are searching, we are waiting, and so we try to rush through this time. But this is the space that can truly transform us the most, if we’ll open our minds to it. Uncertainty, discomfort, can open up things for us that would never exist otherwise. So, as Rob says, “keep your eyes open. Grieve whatever you have the grieve, and take your time.”
As we face this liminal time of year, this period when kids have gone back to school, but the leaves have not yet started to change, when there are still peaches and nectarines at the market and we’re not quite ready yet for apple pie, let’s say a final farewell to the last season. It’s ok to need to grieve summer. Keep your eyes open. You never know what transformation may take place.
Cooking soundtrack: Okkervil River – Away
I followed Yossy’s Cream Cheese Crust recipe exactly. Can’t recommend it enough! Dough stays remarkably flakey no matter what you put it through. Also freezes well in saran wrapped balls.
Filling (Adapted from this recipe of Yossy’s)
- 4-5 small or medium sized nectarines
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar (I’ve made it with brown sugar. Yossy recommends muscavado. I think that vanilla bean sugar would be amazing and will likely do this next time).
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 egg, beaten with a drop of tap water
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- Make the crust according to Yossy’s directions. Store in fridge until you’re ready to use.
- Slice nectarines in half, remove pit and then slide into 1/4 inch slices, keeping them bundled in their halves (it makes it easier to place them later).
- Roll out the dough on a well floured surface into a 12 inch circle. I often find my circle isn’t perfect, don’t worry. Transfer the circle onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of flour over the circle, leaving a 2 inch border
- Lay the slices of nectarines over the area with the flour and sugar, in a way that looks pretty to you. Sprinkle over 1-2 more tablespoon of sugar (based on the sweetness of the fruit and your taste) and a pinch of salt. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the top.
- Fold over the sides and child in the fridge for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove from refrigerator, and brush with the egg wash and sprinkle on turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until nicely golden brown. I like to err on the side of baking it longer rather than less. It’s ok if it overflows.
- Let cool a bit before serving, as the juices will reduce as it cools into a nice jammy filling.