Finally taking a few hours to slow down in the haven that is my back patio. When the pace of life gets so frenetic, like this week has been, I will come out here, sit and do nothing but listen, not just to music, but to the sounds of a noisy suburban wildlife. The night sounds in a Nebraska summer are full of steady noises of happy critters singing their songs until the wee hours of the morning, when they appear to have sung their hearts out and the dawn reminds them to retire for another session.

I believe in the Wisdom of Solomon, who wrote that there is a time and place for everything, and a season for all types of activity. For me to live as a sustained chef, there is a time to cook, and a time to eat. There is also a time to feed others and a time to be fed myself.

And as a chef who owns his own restaurant, there are many times when I have to patiently wait for that next season to come. Just as Fall brings relief from the Summer heat, so Sunday also brings me a day to become a beneficiary of its coverage. The demands and challenges of this week eventually gave way to reprieve offered by the dappled green rays of sunlight filtering through the mesh of leaves on my 30yr old ash tree that stands guard over my little screened-in sanctuary.

I like to compare my work and personal life with the ebb and flow of a river rather than the balance of a scale. Balance implies equality, with equal forces being maintained on either side of the fulcrum, while the former indicates movement, steady and constant, though not always at the same rate or force. As a chef and owner, I don’t have the luxury or ability to create balance, but I can move into more calm waters as I see them available.

This will always be the challenge of an entrepreneur. Since we are not allergic to work, we will always lean in the direction of accomplishment over self-preservation. To sustain such endeavor, it pays to pay attention to the season in which we find ourselves and not always look for an Endless Summer.

My playlist this morning includes a mix of Irish songs, traditional jigs & reels that are best described as happy in their sound. I don’t know why I gravitate toward this style of music, but I think it might have something to do with Irish history. I ask myself, “How can a group of people with a heritage of being invaded, robbed, looted and mistreated still be known for a saying like “The Luck of the Irish?” They appear to know something about sustainable living that I need to investigate.

The Luck of the Irish