Hope in November Gray...and a Recipe for Sweet Potato Croquettes
November is the beginning of the lackluster months. It has been overcast and rainy and foggy and frosty: all things that fit into the gray color scheme. If I’m lucky, November light will be silver and shine like a polished ring on my finger; at its worst, it is dreary and absorbs the light and sports a bone chilling dampness on its arm. In any case, these are good days for staying in and sitting by a fire. Or scampering around, raking leaves between the raindrops. And every day, when I do go out in it, I wrap myself with warm scarves and gloves and hope my jacket will keep out the cold.
Though well protected from the weather, I have yet to to build up protection against the news that makes its way to my eyes and ears. In my world, where I follow my own way, life is good. Though there are always up and downs, I manage to find a balance. But the words that come streaming from the screen or the speaker don’t give me a choice. They generally carry pain, anger, vindictiveness and greed. They push me over sometimes and I cling only to the inner hope I carry. It tells me that goodness will prevail and that in the midst of it all, most of us follow an earnest life, hoping for the best and actively making it happen.
No matter what situation I have found myself in, if I will at least take responsibility for my actions and for my life, it somehow makes the going easier. In tough settings, I carry what I can and lean on others, if needed. I try to understand all sides of the picture. I learn to let go of pain instead of carrying it as comfort. I seek the light instead of wallowing in the darkness. I try not to live on autopilot. When I look forward and outward, I am no longer dwelling on the past. I can move on. And if I tell you my story, take the time to listen and empathize, because we all have a story to tell…
The lives here in this town and those I interact with every day are my real world. The face I greet on the street, the chitchat with another at the store, the daily side by side at work, this is where I see the small things that bring us together, where the rubber hits the road. It’s not usually earth shattering but I much prefer it to the general pronouncements I hear coming through my feed.
Every day, I watch the weather. I notice the little things that change around me, including myself, and I find a way to dwell on the good that is here now. As I type these words, a low gray cloud has lifted and I can see a light blue turquoise sky breaking through. May you see the clouds in your life lift, and take notice of the brightness that breaks through.
As celebrations start, here is a recipe that keeps me grounded. It comes from my mother-in-law who made it for our family gatherings. It has been two years since she passed through the veil. I will make them this year in her memory.
Sweet Potato Croquettes
5 large sweet potatoes (use the yellow skinned ones if you can find them because they are less watery)
3 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. cracker crumbs
some olive oil
Cook the sweet potatoes until soft. Peel then mash with the butter and salt and pepper. Drop in spoonfuls on a cookie sheet. Let cool. Shape into croquettes. Dip in egg then crumbs. Refrigerate for several hours. Fry in olive oil on all sides until brown. Serves 8.