And yet, here I am, buying boots and being Basic about pumpkin-flavored things. Time is weird. And as I've gotten older (well, older comparatively to when I was 21 and invincible), I've discovered an increased value in anything that gives me a reason to pause, to reflect, to slow down. In fact, that's one reason why I always enjoy simply sitting down to split a bottle of wine with friends because it has a magical power that can distort the speed at which the pace of life normally occurs. My default is living a life that's constantly on-the-go and running as fast as I can just to keep up with all the excitement and opportunities around me, but it's a lifestyle that can only be maintained through taking advantage of occasional bouts of recharging.
Sidenote: This is pretty much the whole reason why I'm also obsessed with benches...yes, you read that right, and no, I'm not kidding. I take photos of benches everywhere I go as a little photography trademark and also as a way to remind myself that there can always be a reason to press the pause button and look around. See below for a famous movie quote that eloquently reiterates this concept...
Similar to a glass of wine at happy hour, benches are open opportunities to stop time. They are purposeful and never random. Providing new perspective, they are strategically placed with intention to inspire reflection. They are where people cry, hope, dream, laugh, ponder, and forgive. They are life’s subtle reminders to breathe. To pause. To fully be aware of what lies ahead and what has passed. To explore the moment for whatever peace of mind, heart, and soul is needed most.
And really, in a society full of workaholics and hustlin' to stake our claim in this crazy world, couldn't we all use an excuse to stop sometimes? And in terms of health and wellness. how often does this life-in-the-fast-lane pace cause us to shovel down food in a rushed environment or mindlessly eat something only to leave us hungry for nourishment an hour later?
Well, great news. I have a lovely friend in Atlanta who has created a concept which Sharing a meal together transforms eating from a mechanical process of simply fueling the body to a ritual of family, community, and an act of culture"...Anyone can host a picnic, and everyone is invited. It's exactly the type of excuse to pause and reflect that a big glass of wine with friends or a perfectly placed park bench provides right when you need it most.
|Pretty sure time actually stopped while I sat at the 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Course sipping a lovely glass of Minor Family Viognier...and yes, the bar was conveniently called The Bench|
When the creator of Pop Up Picnic hosts a picnic, there's no lacking on the picnic essentials. There were blankets, to-go wine glasses, and colorful baskets. Dishes included everything from the quintessential charcuererie/cheese plates to homemade spinach empanadillas and roasted Eggplant Almond Dip followed by a made-from-scratch Greek Lemon Cake for dessert (because my friends are fancy like that).
|An epic spread of food and wine|
I whipped up a 7-Layer Greek Dip (hummus, olives, tomatoes, fresh dill, red onion, feta cheese, cucumbers) as my dish, which I thought would be an excellent excuse to finally purchase a Greek wine. Greek wines tend to be extremely high in acidity, which works out well given the citrus flavors and oils in Greek food...but I decided to break all the "rules" and opt for a white Grenache blend from France simply because it had the most girly, picnic-y label I could find....because, yes, even with as much wine knowledge as I've acquired, sometimes I'm still easily influenced by product placement and an appealing graphic design. But hey, guess what, I got lucky this time and the wine was bright, acidic, slightly floral, and citrusy enough to elevate my Greek dip to memorable status.
Need an excuse to slow down, eat real food, build community, and potentially drink some wine? Check out http://www.popuppicnicatlanta.com and sign up to attend, host, or sponsor a picnic in Atlanta on October 15th.
Becaue, you know, like Ferris says...
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."