Last night I had the great privilege of listening to Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the book Love Warrior, speak at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, the last stop on the Together Live tour. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Together Live brings a diverse group of female speakers before an equally diverse audience to share their empowerment stories. Glennon closed the event last night by reading a love letter she’d written to the audience. In it she mentioned that her favorite definition of the idea of faith is that “it is the belief in the order of things unseen.” It wasn’t necessarily religious faith that she was talking about in that moment, but rather the concept of believing in the possibility of something, even when there’s a lack of any concrete evidence to support that belief. It’s along the lines of the power of positive thinking, right? Can we really conjure up our dreams by repeating positive affirmations to ourselves everyday? Some people think they can. Have you ever done it? I tried it out a little while back. I identified four things that I really wanted to happen, I strongly believed in the possibility of them, and I repeated the request for them as often as I could every single day. I should back up for a moment and tell you that this is something that’s not easy for me to do. It doesn’t necessarily mesh with my personality. I’m really not much of a dreamer, and when I do allow myself to indulge in wishing for something, I often apply logic and begin asking questions like how did I get here? Who’s paying for this? What would my mother think? And before long I’ve squashed the dream into an unidentifiable spot on the sidewalk.
But I digress. Let me get back to my story. So I set my four intentions, tried to be as positive as I could possibly be, and, lo and behold, each and every one of the things I asked for came true. I was astounded. I was amazed. I turned into a true believer in all this stuff. But then one of the things I had conjured up took off in the opposite direction, and didn’t quite turn out the way I had envisioned. In fact, there are days when I want to take the universe by its throat and ask what it was thinking. I’ve questioned where the process went wrong for me. Was I fuzzy about what I wishing for? Was I too specific? Am I being chastised for having dared to ask for anything in the first place? My life is filled with wonderful things; why dream about more? I think the answer lies in the definition of faith that Glennon Doyle Melton likes so much. I have to continue to believe in things unseen. I have to continue to have faith that the universe knows what it sent me, and that it has a reason for challenging me, and for making me ask the question why. I have to accept that I have some learning and growing to do, and that this alternative version of what I wished for will help me do exactly that.
If I relate all of this back to my experience last night, I think there’s a larger picture here that can be applied to each and every one of us. We are currently living in a political climate that we could not possibly have dreamed of or wished for. Well, maybe some of you did, but I don’t know what to say about that. It challenges our level of tolerance on a daily basis and makes us continually ask the question why. But we cannot put our heads under the covers, or give up, or stop hoping and dreaming for more. We have to work even harder now to see the positives, the ways in which our current situation pulls us together, makes us stronger, and forces us to rise up against the things we know are wrong. We have to continue to believe in the things unseen, and know that at some point in our future we will understand why we had to experience the struggle and the sadness first. What’s ahead is going to be so big and so wonderful that our hearts will have to be wide open to accept it. I’m choosing to believe that. Who’s with me?
For today’s cocktail, I wanted something sunny and spicy to symbolize the idea of letting go of summer and accepting the shift into fall. I started with Laird’s Applejack as my base spirit, along with Sukkah Hill’s Besamim liqueur, and Barrow’s Intense Ginger. I added Element’s pineapple turmeric shrub, some lemon juice, simple syrup, and a dash of DRAM Apothecary’s black bitters. The pineapple makes me think of summer and the Laird’s, Besamim, and bitters stir up thoughts of the holiday season ahead. This becomes then a drink that celebrates the fact that we are always in a state of transition, of wanting, of dreaming, of hoping for more, and of believing in things that lie just beyond what we can see.
Add all the ingredients to a shaker tin with ice and shake until cold. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy!