Sometimes, upside down is OK.
Not, of course, if you're stuck at the top of a Ferris Wheel, but maybe just in the course of day to day life.
Because sometimes you do just feel upside down. Not really wrong exactly, but not quite right.
It happens to me a lot in the fall. I love the hot summer days of flip flops and short sleeved shirts, longer brighter days of not always being chilled to the bone.
I hadn't seen my younger son in almost a year, it was getting darker earlier, I'd had a birthday and was getting . . . you know . . . older, prices were through the roof, our politics were in shambles, and the upcoming holiday season whirlwind has a tendency to be hectic.
So I was OK, just a little upside down.
I walked out front one day a few weeks ago, and saw this little oak leaf on my walkway. We don't have oak or maple trees but, whatever, I'm sure the wind blew it here from somewhere.
As I walked past the leaf, I saw that it was upside down and, without really thinking about it, said under my breath "I know how you feel, buddy."
It was a dreary, cloudy day, in keeping with my mood, I guess. And it doesn't help that there's so little color mother nature shares with us this time of year, in contrast to the bright hues of spring and summer. I suppose that might be why, coming back into the house, I turned the leaf over saying (well, I said it in my head, I don't want you to think I was standing outside my house talking out loud to a leaf) "don't hide, show those pretty yellows and browns and greens."
Sometimes, we need a little encouragement to show our colors to the world.
The next day, I'd been working in the kitchen and, as you might imagine, wasn't giving any thought to the leaf on the walkway.
Banana Spice Cake
(an upside down dessert)
When I went out to get the mail, I noticed that leaf, still there, right in the middle of my walkway.
And a little worse for wear. Curled in at the edges.
I left it like that. Because sometimes you just have to feel your upside down for a while, keep your colors to yourself, and block out the world.
I get it.
Now, I'm sure you're thinking that I'm reading a whole lot into a biodegrading leaf on the sidewalk, and you could very well be right.
But I happen to believe that you take your life lessons from wherever they're presented to you.
"Tomorrow," I thought, "if that leaf is still there, and still upside down, I'll turn it over again."
Because sometimes you're just not ready the first time. But maybe, just maybe, it'll be ready to shine.
Banana Spice Cake
2 TBSP butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup speculoos (cookie butter)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan.
*Slice the bananas into approximately 1/4 - 1/3 inch rounds.
*Melt the butter, mix in the brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and spread into the bottom of the pan. Place the banana slices into the butter mixture, singly, in two rows along the bottom and barely up the side of the pan.
*Whisk together the cake mix, remaining cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Separately, whisk together the oil and speculoos. Add to the cake mix, along with the eggs, milk, and sour cream. Beat for 2 minutes.
*Slowly pour the batter into the pan with the bananas, trying to keep the bananas in place as much as possible.
*Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back to the touch. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge and inverting onto a serving plate.