” Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” ~ Gustav Mahler
Good Sunday morning, dear friends. Happy New Year! I hope you and your family had a beautiful Christmas and this new year is off to a good beginning.
As we begin to close Christmas (oh, how I drag my feet) and welcome our new year, today finds me thinking of traditions and special memories. I do believe they are strongly tied together with the ribbons of our hearts. We all have traditions we enjoy and loved ones who are associated with them. Such as the photo above of the teacups. I can never look at a teacup without thinking of mom. She loved pretty teacups. And she said, “A pretty teacup makes even bad tea lovely.” She had something there, it does help. I collect teacups and saucers ~ but only the pretty ones (just for mom).
“We are missing an enormous opportunity if we deny ourselves a wholesome, mature reliance on those who have evolved to what we aspire to become. As Sir Isaac Newton urged, we can evolve best by standing on the shoulders of giants, getting closer to truth by building on the discoveries of those luminaries who came before us.” ~ Miles Neale
Exquisite handwork is something I adore, even if it is not made by someone dear to me. I feel as though I am the caretaker of someone’s lovely work. Their skills and their creative spirit are qualities to be treasured and I do. I have gained a greater appreciation of beauty through my discoveries of such remarkable gems. And as a member of the senior generation, to me, it is important for the younger folks to understand the work and the time that has gone into creating endeavors of the heart. Understand, I don’t mean they have to love and collect vintage pieces, but it is important for them to have an appreciation of such.
Appreciation of the hours upon hours of work makes one pause in awe, even for a moment, to simply realize they are looking at something more than words.
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something ~ a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things ~ which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” ~ Alan Bennett
Reading is a gift that I give myself as often as possible. I am from a mother and grandmother who both read everything imaginable. They were both quite political and read newspapers front to back. I think this resulted from both of them living through dreadful wars and trying social times. While I think what they enjoyed is important and I have an appreciation for their feelings, I have other reading interests. As it should be. I value their love of reading and what they instilled in me but, “I feel as other hands have reached out and taken mine.”
” Food history is as important as a baroque church. Governments should recognize cultural heritage and protect traditional foods. A cheese is as worthy of preserving as a sixteenth-century building.” ~ Carlo Petrini
Recently, I read something about a woman who was pursuing her Ph.D. in Food Studies. Don’t ask me where I read it or who it was about all I remember is it was quite interesting. The article spoke to how food correlates with our traditions. And how important it is to preserve these traditions. Food definitely evokes special memories.
The other day, I was chatting with my dear friend, Janet. Her daughter had asked her about one of her mom’s recipes. Janet didn’t have the particular recipe, she felt one of her sisters had it. Anyway, the conversation did lead my friend to ponder a few things. She told me she was thinking of preparing a little cookbook of her favorite recipes and giving a copy to each of her children. “Outstanding,” I said. Too often, treasures are lost, part of our heritage as well as our traditions.
In the Bordeaux area of France, around 1985 a group of 88 patissiers came together to protect and write in stone the standard of the recipe for Canelé’s and to make them the property of Bordeaux. The chefs took an oath to uphold this standard and to always use the secret recipe, which they knew was kept in a vault to pass to future generations. They felt it was so important to protect and maintain their standards in a world full of food trends, and desperation to create something “new and different,” regardless of integrity or flavor. I do believe the folks in Bordeaux would certainly agree with the words of Carlo Petrini.
I have had the experience of things slipping away. When I was growing up a lovely Italian woman lived across the street and she was a marvelous cook. One of the things she made every summer was stuffed zucchini blossoms. She would always come to our home with a plate full of these delicacies. What a treat. I have several of her recipes but missed this one. I think of her and her divine creations quite often in the summer.
“Like Christmas trees and Easter egg hunts and the block party on the last day of summer, we do things because traditions feel cozy and safe.” ~
Who wouldn’t remember being in the woods with someone who loved you, gathering greens and or a tree? And using a sled that was most likely your grandparents. Certainly a tradition worthy of preservation.
Baking treats for neighbors and your local shelter is worthy as well. Not just at Christmas, but all throughout the year. Efforts of kindness are always appreciated.
“Things of quality have no fear of time.” ~ unknown
Our old home, built in 1939 has “no fear of time.” She shelters us and comforts us and we are grateful to take care of her. And our prayer is to someday place her in worthy hands.
I can hear the stories ~ can you?
And, these frames are such a work of art. It would be wonderful to know what they have held throughout the years.
“The past informs the present.” ~
Dear friends, thank you for your visit. Know I wish you and yours a most beautiful January Sunday.
And as we begin this new year . . .
May we all maintain respect and love for traditions that no longer serve us and “preserve with fire” those that do.
“Every plant, tree, and animal is a blessing and every person has a purpose for living. Courage, curiosity, and generosity produce noble spirits. Enduring life honorably results in wisdom. Knowledge passed down from one generation to the next along with humankind’s tradition of performing charitable and self-sacrificing deeds creates principled legacies for future generations to emulate.” ~
Images: Tumblr, M.S. Lambiotte