My slow cooker has been busy lately. With more time at home and fewer reasons to rush, I find myself with the space and the scope to let things simmer. So we’ve had slow-cooked pulled pork, slow-cooked lamb casserole, slow-cooked dhal, and even slow-cooked mulled wine. The ingredients have time to mingle, to get to know one another, to infuse. This is not a wham-bam, pressure-cook-the-life-out-of-you, just-get-it-on-the-table kind of dish. This type of meal savours itself before it is consumed.
As if ‘mindfulness’ wasn’t already the buzzword of our generation, 2020 has compelled us to live in the present moment. We have been forced to notice and to pay attention to what we do, who we see, what we touch, where we go, what we buy.
In the words of one of my favourite contemporary poets, Billy Collins:
“The virus is slowing us down to the speed of poetry.”
And as we slow down and let things simmer, we realise this moment is all we have. Or as Fatboy Slim put it, (repeatedly):
“Right here. Right now.”
So I breathe deeply. I sit in the moment. The world will always be turning. It is up to us to find the stillness we need. It was the modernist poet, T.S. Eliot, who said:
“At the still point of the turning world……there the dance is.”
2020 has been quite a dance. I haven’t always wanted to step onto the dancefloor and join in. Enthusiasm cannot easily be feigned. But our lives are right here, right now. This is our dancefloor. So maybe the moves don’t need to be perfect – they just need a touch of grace, and perhaps a slow-dance or two.
©2020 Seetha Nambiar Dodd
I can relate to the slow cooker too.