Any moment now, a crowd of people will descend on Jayne Robertson's house in Palm Springs, California, but Robertson isn't frazzled. She moves aside furniture to arrange a circle of chairs and cushions by the fireplace, sets a table for food, puts out hot water and a selection of teas, lights candles, and awaits her guests.
Every year during this most frenetic of seasons, Robertson, a yoga teacher, and her husband, Ed, host a winter solstice party for their friends from the yoga studio. Robertson's recipe for stress-free entertaining is equal parts simplicity and community. "We do it as a vegetarian potluck," she says. "It's an extraordinarily busy time of year, so this is a nice way of gathering—we're relaxed when people arrive, and it takes some of the pressure off hosting."
Conquer the Art of Really Getting Away
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San Francisco Magazine
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Salute the Sun
OZZY IS GIVING ME ATTITUDE—bumping against my pack, nosing ahead, blowing his semisweet-fermented breath in my face. I nudge him on the chest to keep him behind me as I inch down the steep sandstone, but he clearly has personal-space issues. I chose Ozzy . . .
Growing up, I was The One Who Could Not Sing. My older sister and brother, on the other hand, were routinely cast in musicals and chosen for high school Madrigals (the “Glee”-like choir reserved for the cream of the teen vocal crop). At Christmas, my . . .
My best friend and I rarely call each other. Not because we don’t enjoy talking; we just prefer to catch up in person, ideally over frosty drinks in a foreign land. But before our recent trip to Nicaragua, I texted her, “Are we taking backpacks or rolling . . .
“What’s going on?” Dan asked, smiling. He nodded at my feet, which tapped to the beat of zero music. My hands were in constant motion, too—fidgeting with my phone, flipping through the in-flight magazine, rustling in my purse, playing with the barf . . .
But time is one thing we have been given, and we have been given to time. Time gives us a whirl. We keep waking from a dream we can’t recall, looking around in surprise, and lapsing back, for years on end. All I want to do is stay awake, keep my head up, prop my eyes open, with toothpicks, with trees.” –Annie Dillard