Thursday, December 17, 2015

Slow as vinegar: Waiting for Christmas

Earlier this week I had the chance to wander down Hertel Ave. in North Buffalo and came upon a store called "The House of Olives". The store was filled with metal barrels fill of fancy flavored olive oil and various kinds of vinegar. Each barrels was set up with a sample bottle and little tasting cups for unlimited sampling of their supply of oils and vinegar. I smelled and was amazed at the variety of the flavors available. This place could make cooking really fun! After my friend encouraged me to taste the vinegar -I did and was surprised at it's sweetness, but I was also taken aback by something else.

While I expected the olive oil to be think and oily (after all it is oil), the flavored vinegar was incredibly sweet but it also was thick and syrupy. It's consistency I discovered, from the gentleman filling the small bottles for gift sets, made it necessary for him to slow down in filling them. No matter how he tried to hurry, the vinegar syrup would only pour so fast and that pour was as slow as molasses in winter.

As the days pass through this season of Advent, it seems like the days begin to run faster as Christmas Day approaches. Time begins to spin faster in our tree trimming, cookie baking, and present wrapping. The moments of each day are to fast and furious. We are like the oil and vinegar vendor trying to fill our bottles as fast as we can - so that all of the orders of Christmas will be filled.

But perhaps this Advent, I could learn something about slowing down from my sample of berry vinegar. In order for me to discover this vinegar I had to take a pause from my day and open a door to a space I'd not yet seen. In order for me to get to this place, a friend had to encourage me to taste and see that berry vinegar is good. In order for me to pour it, I had to choose a flavor and wait patiently for it to drip, drop, drip into my shallow plastic cup. In order for me to taste it, I needed to tip the cup and wait as it rolled slowly towards my lips and suddenly all I could smell and taste was sweetness.

It's a wonder how something I'd only understood as sour can become sweet in taking pause, in hearing encouragement from a friend, and choosing to take the slow road to taste unexpected sweetness.

Waiting for Christmas can be a frantic rush or it can be as sweet as slow vinegar.
May your days of waiting for Christmas be unexpectedly sweet and my you have someone to share it's sweetness with.
Image found at thekitchn.com