This time last year, I was organizing all of our things so that they could be packed and shipped from our Tokyo apartment to our new home in Denver. Riley was only 3 months old and I was still trying to figure out what it meant to be a mother (still working on that one), let alone what it meant to move my family back to the United States. Needless to say, life was a bit crazy. The only respite from it all was walking at Kinuta Park, which was within walking distance of our apartment. The trees lining the path had to have been hundreds of years old and there was always this kind of mist over everything.
Kind of like in the computer game Mist.
Did you ever play that? I always got stuck. Somewhere misty.
Anyway, I remember the serenity of being amidst ancient nature in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world. There was something about that feeling that I haven't been able to capture yet here in Colorado. It took me 3 years to find it in Tokyo, so I guess I still have time.
There is a path near our house that I am getting acquainted with. It runs parallel to a stream and through the branches, at least now when there are no leaves, I get the occasional glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. An added bonus is that there is a park just off the path where Riley loves to swing and take hand fulls of wood chips and drop them over his head. Someday soon I hope that I'll be walking down that path feeling the same peace that I did at my park in Japan.
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to warm days with bright sunshine, green grass, colorful flowers and nights with friends spent watching the sky turn from blue, to orange and pink, to starry and black. When I think of days like that, I also think of bubbly, citrusy drinks. Typically I reach for a gin and tonic when the temperatures rise, but it's fun to mix things up a bit. This cocktail, made with a floral-flavored whiskey, sparkling raspberry juice, and fresh lemon and lime juice, is the perfect way to introduce something new into the mix. It isn't super sugary like a Margarita or Piña Colada, but still has the appeal of drinks we dream of sipping in the summer sun all winter long.
So, no matter where you find yourself this weekend, take a moment to sit back and think about what gives you a sense of peace and serenity in the midst of a very busy time of year.
Sometimes peace can be found in the most unexpected and obvious places.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 oz whiskey (Stranahan's and 2 Gingers work well)
Sparkling raspberry juice
Fresh lemon and lime juices
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the whiskey over the ice. Fill the rest of the glass with the sparkling raspberry juice and top with fresh lemon and lime juices. Stir lightly and serve.