Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kairos and a Cookie

In ancient Greece there were two words for time.
Chronos, which is the time we live by everyday, sequential time, something that can be counted by your lovely shiny watch.
The other, was Kairos; a time between time, that cannot be counted and in which something special happens.

Chronological time rules most of human existence, we schedule meetings, time for working out, eating, and nearly every other task.
Kairos, that time apart, is an effort to find, but a worthy pursuit.
I have written about everyday grace many times before, but Kairos is something a little more than that. It is more ritualistic, for some it is religious, but it does not have to be.
It is an endeavour to get to Kairos; we must create the right conditions, force ourselves into that time between time, still the clocks of Chronos that chime in our head all day. We must search for that quiet space inside ourselves where an undefined time swirls and feeds something inside us, sometimes deeper than we know.

Kairos might be a ritual we allow ourselves once per week, a moment alone in a pursuit that pleases us entirely, a space inside us that feeds our soul and does not answer to the tick of the clock. It could be a Saturday afternoon walk by yourself in the quiet. A glass of wine, a book and a cat curled up on your lap on Friday night when everyone else is out of the house.

Kairos can also be shared, a time for our family, friends, community of our hearts, to spend moments together forging connections that are based on deeper understanding and enjoyment that goes undefined, happiness felt, not spoken. A sushi lunch date with a friend once a week. Sunday morning pancakes with the family.

Kairos does not have to be scheduled, it can be spontaneous a one time ritual that still means so much. This afternoon the house was quiet, the day was wrapped in grey clouds and I was alone in the house with a batch of freshly baked cookies singing their siren song. I knew that there was a moment of Kairos waiting for me, I just needed to recognise it and grab the opportunity to nourish that part of myself that often gets forgotten in the everyday. I made it into my own afternoon ritual; I plunged some coffee, the bitter nutty smell promising something in the time beyond, picked out the cookie that most appealed to me with it's greedy chunks of chocolate still soft from the heat of the oven, and pushed my chair into the best position to view the deep green garden and soft woolly clouds. I settled myself, took a breath to clear the hands of time away and opened the doorway in my mind through which I access time between time. The coffee and chocolate melted together in harmony, more than just the sweet and bitter; they spoke to me of the work I had taken crafting the cookies, the beauty in waiting for them to bake, the treat of allowing myself an indulgence of both chocolate and time.

I recommend you find Kairos in your own life. Make time to access that place of no minutes or hours. By yourself, or with others. Take time for a little ritual. Place yourself between the hands of the clock where you can't see them move and find that something great beyond the chime of Chronos.

It's all about chunk to dough ratio!

Chocolate Chunk Spelt Cookies

60g butter, softened
60g raw caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
180g wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
75g dark chocolate chopped into chunks


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a cookie sheet with baking paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, then add vanilla and egg and beat to combine.
  3. Add flour and baking powder and mix until incorporated. The mixture might be a little stiff but keep working at it, the pay off is worth it!
  4. Add chopped chocolate and mix through batter.
  5. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place evenly spaced apart on the lined cookie sheet.
  6. Cook for about 15 minutes and then remove to cool on a wire rack.
  7. Enjoy, in a moment of Kairos.


  1. YUM. chocolate chip cookies are my FAVE. So I really like this post. I have been reading Zen and the Art of Running lately and this concept reminds me a lot of the practice of finding zen moments in your life. I am really hoping to return to many of these Zen moments. Sometimes I do really well with this and other times I let the stress or crazy busy lifestyle get the best of me...but I always feel at my best when I am just enjoying the moment. Have a wonderful day!

  2. What a beautiful post---and those cookies, my goodness! You're right about the chunks to dough ratio, that is so important!

  3. thank u so much for sharing about this special tradition!! i will have to have myself a helping of kairos as a DOUBLE helping of those cookies...yummy!! have a beautiful day m'dear! :)