Last night I attended the first class of the second summer session of my school. Our instructor discussed her policy with us. We are dismissed earlier than the scheduled time, with one proviso: we are then to follow through to make up the time online by reading and digesting the online resource she provides, write a reflection on the resource, and then post it to a community board. The class is then able to read each other's reflection. Each student must also respond to one other posted reflection, thereby instituting virtual collaborative groups.
Dear reader, I awoke this morning with the Very Best of Intentions. I first replied to your comments. I wanted to write a post, one that addressed my need to cultivate mudita in my approach to this class. (Often when I meet people that I admire, dear reader, for their talents, I feel as if my learning curve will be most steep in order to keep up; in short: I can become intimidated if I am not careful. This is something I would not wish for you, dear reader, so it makes sense that I should work to avoid it for myself.)
I began to read more commentary on mudita. Time passed, as it always does. I resolved to visit the online resource for my class, and so I did. I began to type notes as I read.
Then Little Guy awoke. It was a beautiful morning, so we had breakfast together, and went outside. LG wanted to practice riding his bike without training wheels, and he needed some moral support; a male and female cardinal pair were chatting and flitting back and forth, and in the name of scientific inquiry, LG and I felt it best to take tea on the back porch and observe this charming pair so as to determine possible nesting locations, and therefore, best avoid disturbing the Happy Couple; soon it was time for lunch, and for the prepping of dinner.
One thing led to another, as they say, dear reader, and to make a long story short, we were driving on our way to see the World's Largest Hershey Kiss, Big Guy in tow, as his work shift was complete.
Is it real? LG asked as we approached the Venerated Object, the World's Largest Hershey Kiss.
Dear reader, he was answered by the wall of chocolate aroma we walked into immediately after he uttered the question, several yards away from the Kiss Itself.
Can I tell you in words how wonderful it was to be in the presence of such an object?
To celebrate, I had to buy the boys their chocolate confections of choice at the Artisan Chocolate stand: beautiful miniature chocolate pastries, served on a golden disk, eaten at a table beside the Kiss Itself.
Feeling happy and Good About the World, the boys began a favored activity: riffing on things that make them laugh. Thus, not only was I treated to a bite from each serving of pastry (fudge-filled shorbread, chocolate ganache-coated marble cake), I was a happily captive audience to my boys re-enacting a Mystery Science Theatre clip
and the gang fight scene from Ron Burgundy
I managed to finally complete and submit it before the writing of this post.
What helped me was chocolate: the World's Largest Kiss-induced happiness, courtesy of LG and BG, and my Chocolate Mainline Happiness, the recipe which follows.
Neroli's Chocolate Mainline Happiness
Bring to a near boil:
1.5 cups water
1 heaping teaspoon jasmine tea (Earl Grey would also do quite nicely).
2 plump green cardamom pods, crushed.
Steep for 3 minutes. Strain into a deep-walled saucepan, and place the saucepan on a warming burner on the stove.
1-1 ounce square of 99% chocolate. I've used Scharffen Berger; it blends ever so nicely.
Add chopped chocolate to the strained hot tea in the deep-walled saucepan.
Whisk vigourously: not only to blend the chocolate, but to whip and froth the chocolate.
Pour into your favored drinking vessel.
Inhale the scent and drink happily, dear reader.