Happy New Year. I spent the first day of 2012 in the sky, waking and dozing over the restless Pacific. Hours of darkened skies transformed into dawn just as the plane shouldered into Manila. Now I write from my parent's quiet home, awake with jetlag yet soothed by the night song of crickets.
2011 was a year as full of movement as the ocean itself. So many changes touched all corners, from the personal to global, the tiny to the immense, the political to the ecological. The winds of change are blowing and the earth is rumbling. I don't believe in doomsday but how I do believe in transformation. 2012, the year of the dragon, promises to be a year of even greater movement.
In the Kitchen Kwento universe, I look back with gratitude for events like the Kulinarya competitions, a Filipino farm and food gathering, sharing stories with The Filipino Channel. Within all of them, the lessons I've learned are that the simple act of food and gathering are among the most essential in the world we live in. I hold fast to these as an anchor to stay grounded, sane and optimistic.
So for 2012, I want to add another resolution that is more of a reminder than a to-do. I want to remember that it's ok to slow down at times even as the world speeds up, and take notice of the details. I don't want to forget to savor, and allow time to reveal those slow honeyed moments.
And what are these? To stop and smell the fragrance of fried garlic rice. To take joy in the pleasure of ink-and-paper letters. To halve dragonfruits and watermelon radishes and chiogga beets for their hot pink astonishment. To see for the first time there are hearts in the papaya bark of my parent's garden.
I wish you a 2012 of beautiful details, happiness, and peace.