Last night Tarek and my friend Cat joined me and Greg for dinner and we had the nicest time out on the deck in the warm breeze under the moonlit sky.
I made the best homemade pizza I’ve made yet with spicy chicken sausage, my special red sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, and kalamata olives on a whole wheat crust with big heaps of fresh arugula to finish. And we opened a beautiful bottle of Beckman Rosé to start.
(I couldn’t believe this but yesterday I came home to a shipment of wine from my favorite vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley — Beckman — that was an engagement gift from Lien. As if her presence over the weekend wasn’t enough. And when I emailed an immediate thank you she informed me that there’s a second shipment coming in August — just because she knew it would make me ridiculously happy.)
So last night was just such a nice evening. The weather was finally that perfect summer warm and it was so good to catch up with Cat who’s been living in Bali for the last 6 months. The last time we all saw each other was in December when I cooked dinner for us in my old apartment in Lincoln Park. It was cold and snowy and we all crowded into my little kitchen to eat together.
Cat is a yoga instructor and craniosacral therapist and she and I met on an airplane last summer, almost a year ago, on the 4th of July. We were on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston and I was on my way to meet Greg for only the third time ever so that we could spend the weekend on Cape Cod with my family. Everything in my life felt so heightened and electric and I distinctly remember wondering who I would end up sitting next to on the airplane — my life felt so alive and interconnected that I knew it might be someone interesting. And of course, it was Cat. And of course now we’re friends.
Cat has the most amazing energy and has been all over the world and had us all simply enchanted last night with her stories about Bali and the work she’s been doing. We talked late into the night, opening more bottles of wine and eating yummy engagement cake that Greg’s mom made.
At one point we were talking about the afterlife and what we think happens when someone dies and finally Cat said, "For as many ways as there are to live, I think there just as many ways to be dead." And we all leaned back, struck by this idea. It was a new thought even for her, occurring to her as she said it, and it hung in the air, this simple yet profound idea. For as many ways as there are to live, I think there just as many ways to be dead.
We all closed our eyes shortly after that and for a few minutes we practiced simply being. We listened to the wind in the trees above us and felt the warm breeze across the apples of our cheeks, our feet flat on the smooth wood of the deck, the taste of wine in our mouths, our lives rich and full within us.