Storing up

I went to a cooking class today. I hate to cook, but I continue to go to classes. I keep thinking that one day the switch will flip, and suddenly I’ll enjoy sautéing shallots in a knob of butter. It hasn’t happened yet, but I go in the hopes that it might.

Last night I had a difficult conversation with my oldest, who at twelve is seeing and hearing things at school that I didn’t face until I was well into my teens. I approached her in the middle of piano practice, hand poised, ready to strike the next note. I think sometimes it’s best to talk when her hands are busy. It gives her something to finger when the conversation revolves around something she’d rather not touch. It was awkward, and she was horrified, but I keep circling around these talks in the hopes that some day it might not be quite so awful.

My son is sleeping at a friend’s house for the first time tonight. He has spent many nights away at a camp hidden above the clouds, breathing alpine air, but this night feels different. He’ll be close, almost close enough to breathe the same air, only not. These heart strings are tightly wound whether three hours or three minutes from home. I keep letting go in the hopes that he’ll always come back, that he’ll always find a way home.

I write down words. Here, in notebooks, on little slips of paper. They never come easily. They are unearthed slowly, handled imperfectly. They are never exactly what I wish them to be, but I keep writing in the hopes that some day, I’ll find the gems buried beneath this dust.

Most of what makes up my life feels small when taken in bits and pieces. A conversation here, a class there, a word, a hug, a prayer. But I keep on. I hope. I trust that the sum of my efforts will be greater than my many, flawed parts. It might never translate into a perfectly cooked roast, but I’m okay with that. I store them up, and believe that someday they will amount to a treasure.

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  • JJ

    Your a treasured friend! 🙂

  • Your life, indeed, is a beautiful and glorious treasure. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    (Sauteed shallots in a knob of butter? How decadent!)

  • Kim

    What a loving way to approach your daughter, giving her the opportunity to be beside you, but to be able to be “busy” so she wouldn’t necessarily have to make eye contact with you.

    These talks can be so difficult, but they are so important.

    I laughed at the description of your effort in cooking, as I am similar. I have reached the point where I have accepted what I am in the kitchen, knowing that I my greater strengths lie elsewhere. If my friends are looking for a more gourmet meal, they know my home is not that place. 🙂