Monday, September 22, 2014

Finding Center

This morning we were busy with school.  

The boys wrote in their journals about their baptism this Saturday, and Mia wrote about it, too.  
We did reading and reviewed things they've been learning from their history listening -- about what Mesopotamia means and the story of Gilgamesh and the discovery of silk.

They colored while I read to them from this book and we talked about making their own Shakespeare books, full of illustrations they did from different scenes of each play we talk about.  

Then the day started to kind of slip away.
Once you kind of step away from being "on it" and getting things done, it quickly goes to chaos.


I found my center again.

I came upstairs and put chicken in my crockpot, and started topping it with spices and cilantro.
I had some good tunes on from Pandora's James Taylor station.

I chopped an onion and crushed garlic and threw in green chiles.  

Made dressing.
I couldn't help but notice, as I was busy doing this, how happy it makes me.  
How it grounds me.
It's something so simple -- rudimentary, really -- this thing called eating.
I guess that the preparing could be classified that way, too.

It is something that has to be done, every day.
Maybe it's mundane and ordinary.

I said, just the other day, that growing up in a home that was full of good food was about more than just the eating.
I still stick by that.

I was asking myself, as I stood there, why I feel so strongly about that.

Growing up, I remember waking up from naps in my pear-sagey colored bedroom and smelling soup or meat cooking from downstairs and feeling comforted.
When I drink Russian tea, it is Christmas and the house is full of music and people I love and citrus, cinnamon, and a beautiful carol broadcast.
Or it's dark and cold and snowy outside, and something hot and sweet and tangy warms your bones -- and your heart.
I think of so many conversations about food with my father, over the phone or in person, exchanging ideas, talking about something that was so delicious, saying "we really have to try this one."
I remember, in college, getting picked up on cold evenings from campus -- say after a test or something -- and riding home with my dad, and knowing there was something hot on the stove for us to eat.
When I think of fluffy European chocolate cream torte and I remember the flavor and consistency of it on my tongue, I also remember the exclamations in my soul from listening to a stunning Bach passion.
I think of conversations around tables and hear laughter in my head.  
I think of time passing on and people growing up, and these meals that have been staples through that whole constant process of continual change.
Food takes me to warm places, people I love, and experiences held in my heart -- either near or far distant, but still there.

I suppose that when I cook, all of that love is present.  
It has its own familiarity and rhythm.
It is comfort and love for me. 
It is a way to share that, a way to give it. 

And it makes me happy.  

(This weekend I got to attend a rededicatory session for the Ogden Utah Temple --- some thoughts on that tomorrow.)

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