Last weekend, driving home late at night along Highway 1 from a weekend project in the dreamy town of Bolinas, tired beyond reason and probably pushing my ability to drive, I tethered my attention to a conversation between Krista Tippett and Joe Henry.
Their talk was profound in the darkness, with the damp, salty air bringing a welcome chill, traveling along a road that I usually drive too fast, along a road where frequent out-of-towners can’t seem to travel more than 15 miles per hour, and I am forced to slow down behind them, frustrated, knowing that the view is magnificent and that the curves can be intimidating, but preferring to push it for some sense of exhilaration. But on this drive, in the dark, I found myself traveling nearly as slowly as the tourists.
And then Joe Henry said this thing about the road, while I was driving on one, and it stuck: “Well, we’re sort of seduced into thinking that, like, here’s life and then there’s these bad things that can happen that are like obstacles that just fall into your road. As if the obstacle is not the road, you know?”
The road is an easy metaphor, and hearing that while driving along one of the most metaphor-rich roads in an ink-colored night made it hit the sweet spot. Life has been so busy lately, the kind of busy that demands my attention for all of my waking hours, and it takes some of the joy out of living. But sometimes there’s no way around that, right? So I’m trying to find these little moments, the moments of grace in between the obstacles, and more than that, I’m trying to accept the little obstacles. Because Joe is right. The obstacles are part of the road.
Those little moments? Reading for 10 minutes. Going on a quick walk. Having a cup of tea. Putting my damn phone down. Taking a bath. You know the drill. We all know what these little moments are, but I find that I need to remind myself, daily, weekly, to build them into my day.
And yeah, that’s why turmeric chai. I never really appreciated turmeric before trying it fresh. Fresh, it is bright, herbal, a little floral, a little citrusy, green, vibrant. I am totally in love with its unusual flavor. I’ve also been adding it to my smoothies. Turmeric is a soother, known for easing joint pain and tummy troubles. Too much of it can make the flavor a little astringent, but balanced with the herbs of chai and the sweet of honey, it is like a dreamy elixir.
Yield: 2 servings
5 one-inch slices of ginger
1-inch knob of fresh turmeric, grated
1 cup almond or coconut milk
1 cup water
8 whole cardamom pods, crushed
8 black peppercorns
2 sticks cinnamon
1 or 2 tablespoons honey (to taste)
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the ginger slices, grated turmeric, almond milk, water, and spices. Slowly bring to a low simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour the chai through a sieve or mesh strainer into a heat-proof vessel that can hold two cups. Stir in honey. Enjoy hot.