Have you ever been lost? The kind of lost that works its way through your arms and legs and all the way to your core? Tightness grips its fingers around your heart and massages the pit of your stomach. This can be felt both when you’re physically lost or metaphorically lost. I’ve experienced both kinds…I’ve been lost in the wilderness, and I’ve been lost in life, especially when searching for love.
When I was in high school I went for a hike to an alpine lake with some boys I knew. Somewhere at the base of the mountain we unknowingly veered off the trail and continued for hours straight up a slippery, wet, leaf-strewn cliff. Eventually when we realized our mistake, it was too late. We were already cold, wet, and quite lost.
Despite everything, we were actually having a good time (Not to mention I had a huge crush on one of the boys…). We were inhaling crisp mountain air, feeling the earth beneath our feet, and laughing and joking with each other.
Sliding and tumbling down the face of the mountain on our rear ends, we eventually found the trail that led back to our car. As if to affirm what I’d already learned that day, we saw a bumper sticker that said, “I’d rather be… right here.”
As I’m stepping out of the cocoon I created for myself this past year and opening my heart to finding love, I’m also opening the door to the possibility that love may come in a different package than what I imagine. By being open to love, no matter what form it comes in, it’s possible to find something even better than what I could ever dream.
Whether your destination is a mountain lake or finding lasting love, remember to savor the journey and be willing to accept the things that don’t always fit with your vision, plan, dream, or goal.
Acceptance Green Beans
This Thanksgiving, consider accepting what is…If Great Aunt Maude ruffles your feathers or your husband and father-in-law argue over the correct way to cook the turkey, take a deep breath and let it wash over you. You may find that when you look back on your life, these are the moments you cherish most, not the perfectly laid table or whether or not you dusted every nook and cranny before your guests arrived.
This is a simple side dish that’s always a holiday favorite in our home.
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 ample Tbsp. of orange zest
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1/3 cup roasted slivered almonds
3 Tbsp. fresh orange juice (from zested orange)
Himalayan pink salt, to taste (or other high quality salt)
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
In a large frying pan, sauté the shallots and orange zest in the olive oil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until the shallots are soft and translucent and slightly caramelized, approximately 10 minutes. Adjust the temperature as needed to keep the shallots from browning too quickly. Meanwhile, wash and trim the green beans. Add them to the pan and increase the heat a smidge. Using a spatula, toss the beans constantly to keep the shallots from burning. When the green beans are soft, turn off the heat, about 5 minutes. Toss with the slivered almonds and another pinch of salt and pepper. Just before serving, drizzle the fresh orange juice over the beans. This will add a bright note to the dish.