Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.
Having grown up in Connecticut, the recent tragedy has struck many notes of sorrow within me. To begin to try and understand how a person could act in such a way is impossible, as the front page of our newspaper read, “unthinkable.” My heart goes out to each and every person and family and child who was a victim to this unthinkable massacre. As one radio station reported, the tentacles of this story reach far and they are wide. Everyone deals with shock and situations such as this in a variety of ways. Sometimes, I don’t want to find the positive in it because I fear it doesn’t exist. I feel uncomfortable discussing it because I am an outsider. I was not there. I do not live in that town. I did not attend that school. I don’t know someone who was killed. But I can learn from it as we all can. I can continue to remind myself that we must find joy even in the most mundane of times, in the smallest acts or gifts or sights and sounds. For we never know when we will not have the opportunity to do so anymore. I can only control my own thoughts, actions, and attitudes.
On my drive to work yesterday morning I caught glimpse of four shooting stars, and witnessed the most beautiful burning sunrise sprawled over the Fall River skyline. My commute may be long and far, but I wouldn’t dare complain. We could all complain about something or another but for those who choose not to the reward is great. A happier outlook, a friendlier demeanor. The world feels as though it is falling apart at the seams with fiscal cliffs, global warming, and childhoods stolen by a disturbed young man. It’s hard to see the beauty sometimes.
But it does exist. Right now it just might take a little more effort to see it. I will keep all of those families in my thoughts and in my heart but I can’t stop living my own life either. Sometimes food is what makes me happiest and I was most fortunate to receive something comparable to edible liquid gold. Honey from the bee’s of upstate New York. The most rewarding tastes sometimes come from flavors that I have introduced to one another myself. Coconut and toasted almonds, brown sugar, honey and oats. Let me tell you, they’ve really hit it off.
2 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl toss oats with cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk honey, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined. Pour the honey mixture over the oats and using your clean hands make fists with the mixture until all the oats are coated in the mixture. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading out evenly.
Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven and use a spatula to lift and separate the granola. Bake for 5 more minutes minutes then remove from oven and sprinkle almonds and coconut over mixture. Return to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before packaging.