I love mornings. When you’re up early enough in Paris, it’s like being a fly on the wall in a world you had no idea existed. You can smell bread baking as boulangeries start to open, witness deliveries of fruit and vegetables and meats to the restaurants and storefronts in the neighborhood. There are more pigeons in the streets than people, and the city seems steeped in a blue-grey haze, like even Paris isn’t quite awake yet.
But even before Paris, I loved mornings. I used to leave for 8th grade half an hour early so that when I got off the crosstown bus at 79th street, I could walk all along Madison Avenue, seeing joggers out for an early run, people walking their dogs before work, even, sometimes, people stumbling home from nights in the city that doesn’t sleep in a moment when, they assumed, they were the only ones who weren’t.
I get people who aren’t morning people, who would much rather be asleep than awake. Hey, I love sleep as much as the next person. I don’t think it’s about that, really. I just love beginnings, the moment when everything seems possible, before anything has had time to go wrong.
It isn’t unique to the beginning of the day, though. I love the first season of a new television show, the world-building aspect of it. I know the second season has to come, that the relationships that were established at the beginning have to come to a head, to burst, to pave the way for new conflict, new adventures. I know that’s how you get ratings — and I even know that that’s what keeps most people interested — but whether it’s a book, a movie, or a show, I always kind of find myself feeling I wish the beginning would just continue being the beginning, that nothing would change.
I haven’t thought about my 18-month itch in awhile, that feeling I used to get, every 18 months, on the dot, that it was time to move, time to go somewhere else. When I was forced by external circumstances (like… I don’t know… finishing high school) to ignore it, I found another way to change, another way to start over. And while I let the wanderlust take hold for years — after all, what’s an easier way to get a new beginning than to move somewhere new? –, I’ve been in Paris nonstop for over six years, now. Surely, I’m grounded. Surely, that desire for novelty has evaporated with time.
And yet, I don’t think it has. The itch might not make me move anymore, but it does make me change. A year at one school, eighteen months at the next. Eighteen months at my real-person job, and now it’s been a little over eighteen months since I’ve been a professional, stay-at-home, real-life, freelance writer. And there it is, like clockwork — that little itch, telling me it’s time to find a new beginning, a new season one, a new morning, a new challenge.
What it is, I can’t say yet. The changes of the past — moving to Cannes, quitting my job, going back to school — always presented themselves with such forcefulness that there was no time between when the prospect of them existed and when the decision had been made, the ticket bought. I suspect the same will be true this time.
I can’t wait to find out what my next new beginning will look like.
Turmeric Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Yogurt (serves 2 as a main, 4 as an appetizer)
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 head cauliflower
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon olive oil
fresh herbs (green onion tops and/or cilantro)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Break the cauliflower into small florets, and place in a bowl. Sprinkle the turmeric over the cauliflower, and drizzle with olive oil. Massage until the cauliflower is evenly coated. Season with salt and place on a baking sheet in an even layer.
Roast the cauliflower for 20-25 minutes, until slightly golden on the edges. Season with black pepper when you remove it from the oven.
Spread a layer of yogurt on the bottom of each plate, and stack cauliflower florets over the top. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs over the top, and serve.