we’re settling in to our fourth of seven guest weeks here as the season on kachemak bay has taken a hard turn into the fall. even as we find the rhythm of our weeks, every day asks for something new of us. i would never say that i expected a predictable, rote experience of the work and the land here, but the degree to which we are experiencing the unpredicted learning and multi-dimensional discovery has surprised me once again. i think it’s a funny human habit the way we expect sameness and are surprised over and over again by the changing and challenge and unpredicted as if that’s not actually the majority of life, of living.
the things we are learning also seem to be coming in subtle and slow ways. this island is taking its time with us. i learn or discover something about the plants or land or cooking or fermenting environment or my co-creators serving here with me or the tide or the nature of our water table for the well or the off-grid electric for our dining room or how the mountain ash ferments a tiny bit differently each week and i have to change the cocktail recipe (again) or which flight routes the bald eagles prefer from our hill to the beach or how much time i have to run to a vantage point to see them after hearing the humpbacks blowspouts or what the magic fire building recipe is for the sauna woodstove.
i learn and discover.
and then i get the distinct feeling inside that the lesson isn’t over, but i’ll have to wait for the next part while proceeding with the daily practice, the daily ritual of it all. because something here is so apparent to me: that the land needs its time with us to do its work. and we have to show up to it daily despite our perception of its excitement level for that day. tony said to a visiting chef last week, ‘something else we’re working on here is time and our relationship to it in our cooking and our work.’ i laughed on the inside upon hearing that at the thought of ‘Things We’re Working On Here’ being more about quests of lifetimes rather than a kitchen task list. but he’s right. we’ve chosen to practice hospitality in this way because we are interested in what the hearth and table have to say to us in a world where we are out of time and expecting quick lessons.
we’re sending beauty and time to each of you this evening. and gratitude for the things that take their time with us.