National holidays are such a perfect time to reflect. Like new years and birthdays and changes of season, they offer a forced pause, a natural delineation between yesterday’s rush and tomorrow’s fresh start.
I’m using this Memorial Day to make a list. It’s a challenge I’ve been given as part of a productivity course I’m taking at work: before the course begins, we must each compile a list of 100 dreams.
Coming up with 100 dreams is very difficult. So far, I’ve got 54. And that’s after breaking some big dreams (travel!) into smaller rocks to conquer (travel to Istanbul! travel to California! travel to Morocco!).
I considered my list on a sultry five mile run under a blissful (and rare for Arizona) cloud cover.
Other dreams in my 54?
#40: do a headstand
#29: study acupuncture
#46: take a photography class
#20: teach middle school
#25: learn Spanish
And even though I’m struggling to make it to 100, working on this list has already taught me so much about the obvious dreams, the big dreams, the top 10 — the dreams that Daniel spouted off in order when I told him I was making this list. #1: write a novel, #2: get my PhD, #3: write a biography, #4: make a documentary film.
After the big ones, you start grasping for straws. #51: spend a summer living at a beach. #53: take part in a flash mob. The ostensible insignificance of the little dreams serves a purpose, too: it bolsters your determination to go after the big ones.
This holiday, I’m relaxing, ruminating, reading Jess Walters’s Beautiful Ruins. And tonight, we’ll be celebrating with red wine and this summer salad.
Raw Corn and Kidney Bean Salad with Mint Pesto
- 2 cups (dry) red kidney beans, soaked overnight
- 2 large ears corn
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 large bunch fresh mint
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 lemons
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
Cook the beans on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Remove the raw kernels from the corn cobs (I use this easy method). In a large bowl, mix the corn kernels, the chopped red pepper, and the chopped red onion.
In a food processor, combine the leaves of the mint, the leaves of the parsley, the garlic, the juice of both lemons, and the olive oil. Add a bit of zest from one of the lemons as long as it’s organic. Pulse this until it’s a slightly runny pesto. Add a bit of water if needed.
Once the beans are done cooking, run them under cold water in a strainer. Add the beans and the pesto to the bowl with the corn, pepper, and onion, and mix well. Serve over a bed of raw kale or as a side dish at a picnic.
What’s on your list of 100 dreams?