One of the things I admire very much about my culture is the teaching that there is a season for everything. It is a belief that all things have a time (or a period of time) of their own to be enjoyed to the fullest – this is why we have seasonal references to tell when things are in season – and you are considered most sophisticatedly stylish if you catch things in their season… at least in the olden days.
Today, many of us are too busy with our everyday life that we do not take the time to look around and enjoy what is in season at the time. I doubt if I would have either, had I not spent so much time away from my culture that I felt I needed to study it in detail. But I am glad I learned it – life has become so much more enjoyable, and yummy!
Sweets decorated with a maple stamp: sweet red bean paste wrapped in steamed potato paste
This is a sweets served at this tea service a couple of weekends ago. Maple is a seasonal reference for late autumn, and this single leaf of reddening maple was a very thoughtful choice for this particular occasion, for the greens in the garden in which the service was held had not begun turning colours according to the season.
Citrus-shaped sweets: sweet red bean paste flavoured with East Asian citrus wrapped in steamed potato paste
This is a sweets served at this tea service last weekend. This East Asian citrus is another seasonal reference for late autumn, and an excellent choice for the occasion whose theme was “good harvest.” (I took the photo placing the sweets on my knees, on my traditional wear with chrysanthemum print pattern… which is another seasonal reference for autumn.)
Chestnut-shaped sweets: sweet red bean paste mixed with crushed chestnuts sandwiched in wafers
This is a sweets I brought back to office this afternoon to share with my colleagues at tea time. Yes, chestnut is yet another seasonal reference for late autumn, and one of my favourite foods. I am often caught eating roasted chestnuts all year round, so my colleagues thoughts “chestnuts again?!” but they are nothing compared to chestnuts in season!
It is a little sad that I did not get to enjoy fully these seasonal sweets with the people I shared the occasions – they were all satisfied with the taste, but did not seem to appreciate in reference to the season.
Maybe the “season” for this teaching of my culture is coming to an end?
Maybe it is no longer “in season” to enjoy life the way we used to?
Maybe, as sad as it makes me feel.
But seasons turn and generations change, and maybe our young minds will find new ways to learn that there is a season for everything.
Maybe their season is just around the corner, and maybe I will enjoy it just as much as I have enjoyed mine and the ones before.
I look forward to having my life made even more enjoyable and yummy, young ones!