Picnicking in the great outdoors is a chance to revel in summer style. Imbibe, munch, nibble, be in tune with nature, friends of all ages, lovers, fairies, long grass, ball-play and music. Bucolic, blissful, stirring a welcome sense of deja vu, & a dash of freedom.
Perhaps like me, a slew of meals on the plains have honed your picnicking to an art form. Giving you an opportunity to open up a secret door within. Many al fresco meals have past my lips, from childhood on, a variety of tastes and flavors. Running the gamut from over the top seafood buffets to finger licking good chicken in a basket. Rest spots while traveling. Lavish braais (bbq’s) served up, poolside. Countless meals on wheels – on the beach, in the bush, in the park, tasty meals under sun and stars, in different countries, at different stages, from breakfasts to sunset repasts. Each one delicious and memorable, stirring my senses and invoking a kind of magic, that never happens at indoor meals.
What makes for a pleasurable picnic? Do you choose a statement blanket or fold up chairs? Offer easy eating food like small sandwiches, cut up quiche and sliced finger fruit? Is a picnic a chance to show your al fresco mettle with flowers, punch in crystal and your famous salad on real plates, with monogramed napkins? Perhaps you stake out dappled shade, bring walking shoes and your playful side.
Sunday found me in San Francisco at Golden Gate Park witnessing Opera in The Park. As the arias rolled across the lawn, I could feel the embrace of love and acceptance rising from deep in the earth. I half closed my eyes as multiple years blurred, and throngs of people from past and present criss crossed and blended, while picnicking to the music. Paper criers and bottle collectors went about their business, people clip clopped by on horseback, carriage, bicycle and on foot. Performers cartwheeled, aristocracy strolled in lace, children darted and giggled. Dustmen, artists, inventors and maids let the notes float into their bones. Surreal and sensible.
A good picnic must allow for timelines to merge in a meadow.
Some people sprawled on fancy blankets while others had blue tarp and chairs. Luxurious layered tables with centerpieces, mingled with plastic totes and paper bags. A gathering of unequals, equalled. All expressing individual style in the choice of food and designing their event.
Rich and poor, old and young, tattooed pierced or plain can rub shoulders and be at one, with the magic of the muse in music.
For me I prefer to keep my picnic habit simple. A sandwich, drink, blanket that fits in my bag. I let the rich liquid in the voices and instruments ground me, connect me to the vastness of being human en masse. Holding and sharing roots, space to heal and allowing for the passage of pain and beauty to transmit from deep in the soil and out into the cosmos.
What makes a good picnic for you? Is it being with friends and family outdoors, enjoying an experience? Do you feel the past or the pull of nature? Are you authentic in your picnic style? Do you cover up or let it all hang out? Who are you when humanity gathers to partake of outside festivities? I love to inspire comments and conversation so feel free to speak your mind below.
If you are ready to bring out more of your inner style to live with confidence, I invite you to work with me.
Joie de Vivre,