Monday, July 20, 2009

Wonka Vision

I love making candy. Which is odd, since I'm not a patient person by nature and candy-making requires a great deal of patience. But honestly, nothing give me more pleasure than my annual ritual of making homemade candies to give to friends and relatives at Christmas. Standing over a boiling pot of sugar testing and retesting and stirring until my arm is sore and I can't stand the heat of the kitchen is...calming to me. Maybe it's the satisfaction that comes from finishing the candy and knowing it will be devoured. Maybe it's cutting into the pan and eating the first piece which is always mine and mine alone. But what I think it really comes down to is knowing that if I don't take my time and do it just right, then I won't have anything worth giving to those I love. I muster the patience for candy-making out of love. The feeling I get when I hand out tins of my hard work to people who know what went into it and who appreciate the effort I've made. And to people who don't know what went into it, but can imagine anyway and still love me for thinking of them.

And so I've been thinking, maybe it's time for me to try my candy-making state of mind. To remember that it's a lot of hard work, a lot of stirring as it were. To take the extra time to make sure the conditions are just right before I move on to the next step. Let things unfold in their own time and let them set up. When I cook, I do that. When I make candy, I find it relaxing. But in my own life, I sometimes forget. And candy's hard work. The payoff is incredible if you take the time and make the effort and exercise the patience, but is often disastrous when you don't. And I'm slowly beginning to understand that so is life. If I took the time to do things right and to slow down, I'd probably be happier and more successful than I am now.

So I think it's time to put on my Wonka glasses, muster some holiday cheer (yes, in July), and cook up a steaming vat of patience. Maybe served with a side of homemade caramels.

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