June 11, 2018

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.  Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.  And the point is, to live everything.  Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

When I first saw the quote above, it struck me as the perfect advice for those graduating from college.  As this is the time of year when most graduates are celebrating, I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks now.

The problem for me has been the general chaos and information overload that pervades current events, and the stress and confusion that seeps into the daily lives of myself and my friends, clients and family members, even for those who don’t pay close attention to the news cycle.  Just when I think things have calmed down enough for my readers to enjoy a nice, pleasant blog post, it seems another mass shooting or natural disaster or untimely death is reported.  These come on top of the current domestic and world political concerns (insert scream emoji).

Then, today, it occurred to me that this quote applies to more of my fellow humans than just those marking the milestone of college graduation.  We all have questions, throughout our lives, but especially in times such as these.  Sometimes, no matter how much we wish for things to be resolved, for questions to be answered, for wounds to be healed, for the scales of justice to balance, we must surrender to the limited viewpoint from our location in space and time.

“Don’t look for peace. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance.  Forgive yourself for not being at peace.  The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

Think back over your life lived thus far and recall times past when personal or world events seemed unsettled.  The answers almost always do come, but usually when you stop asking.  Wrongs get righted, but not according to your timetable.  Often you don’t get what you desire, but eventually, something better – an outcome that you couldn’t have imagined when your heart first made the wish.

When I feel unsettled and overwhelmed by world events, I try to remember the following: Do what you can to be a conduit of love and light in the world.  Fight the good fights on behalf of those less fortunate or less able.  Change the things you can and leave the rest to forces of good more powerful than yourself.  The answers will come.  Then there will be new questions.


A laurel wreath has been a symbol of victory and honor since ancient times.  In Italy, university graduates receive a laurel wreath to wear on their heads for the remainder of the day after the ceremony.  Bay Laurel Lemonade makes for a unique and refreshing commemorative beverage to serve at a graduation celebration.

Bay Laurel Lemonade
A simple bay leaf syrup combines with fresh lemon juice to give this sweet, tangy lemonade a slightly herbal twist.  The bay leaf flavor is subtle, making this beverage both a sophisticated thirst-quencher and a crowd-pleaser.

You will want to use the bay leaves native to the Mediterranean, probably originating from Turkey  (Laurus nobilis) for this recipe.  Do not use what is known as California bay leaves (Umbellularia), as they have a stronger flavor and can cause headaches for some people.


Bay Leaf Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 10 lemons)
Zest of two lemons
6 cups cold filtered or spring water
Variation: substitute sparkling water for half or all of the water*


First, make Bay Leaf Simple Syrup (recipe below).  You will need to make this and chill at least 30 minutes before making lemonade.

To make lemonade:
Remove syrup from fridge.

In a large bowl, stir together lemon juice, zest, chilled syrup and 6 cups cold water and pour into large pitcher.  Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour (and up to 1 week).  Serve over ice.

*Note: You can also make the lemonade as directed and fill a glass with half lemonade/half sparkling water for a lighter version.

Bay Leaf Simple Syrup

1 & 1/4 cups organic sugar
1 & 1/4 cups filtered or spring water
6 bay leaves, lightly crumbled (Turkish)

To make syrup:
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 minutes.

Turn off heat and let steep for about 30 minutes.  Strain syrup through a fine mesh sieve and transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid.  Cover, let come to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to use.


A brief bit of lemonade-themed laughter:



2 Responses to “Gradually”

  1. Janet Mercurio

    What a coincidence that you published this recipe the same week that I bought a Bay Laurel tree to plant! Looking forward to making your tea-lemonade! Thank you!

  2. Frankie

    I sure enjoyed a good laugh. Thanks