22 February 2010

kitchen table memories

each day brings something new. my spirit continues to grow and to be fed through the every day arts: through sweeping, baking, cooking, gardening.... i'm so glad to see others who are finding their spirits renewed and delighted through what their hands can create, make, bake, or discover. friends are baking bread, feeding their young new first foods, engaging in play, and creating. oh, it is so welcomed to see and hear what others are bringing into their daily rhythms.

each day brings something new. my routine continues to be refined for this day, this moment. each day that i am able to practice yoga or pilates, to use my hands in preparation of art or to write a letter, i find myself more centered. my mind becomes in focus of the breath and the spirit's breathing within. i am upbeat and focused.

often each day brings something familiar. i mentioned the path of my lent to live into the "long spring days" and to grow something new from within. my discovery of the desire to write to others, making contact with neighbors, creating new rituals is good and will stretch my body in new, loving ways. the familiar voice of the critic seems to be a little louder, trying to be heard. with intention & the daily moment-by-moment practice of mindfulness i will stretch myself into new, loving ways as i learn to silence the inner critic. rather than carry baskets filled with the noise of the inner critic, i will carry baskets filled with what i create: art, love, bread, letters, vegetables from the garden, and inspiration.

sometimes the day calls lost memories like a gift. i keep returning to an image i have of my grandmother, sitting at her kitchen table with the phone in hand. the oven is hot and the stove top is on with simmering pots. she's talking to her friends with the southern blend of community gossip, recipe trading, & stories of family happenings. she has her community within reach and can respond to crisis within seconds. she is well known and well loved. her table is always open to others to drop in from the fields, and the pastor & family are welcomed on sundays. there's a welcome and wisdom at this table. there's a welcome & wisdom in her presence.

the gift that my grandmother gave me after making divinity in home economics in junior high, "if you can make divinity successfully, you can make anything." she taught me to make biscuits, cornbread, apple fritters with her pie crust. i watched as she created endless dishes, worked hard in the garden, collected pecans. she watched from that kitchen window as we fished in one of the ponds. we children were happy little chicks playing around the hen house.

there is something within these lenten days that brings the images of her kitchen table to mind. the memories of her and her hands are filling me as i silence the critic's voice. there's clarity in creating sacred space for new growth. i always connect my grandmother's hands to mine on days that i make pie crust, like today.

there's a desire within me to keep my community close, to respond to crisis within seconds. my community is stretched from the deep south to home in VA to a country an ocean away. the gift of this here internet is good, but a hand written note or piece of art or edible treat sent to them is something better. as i am mindful of my own care, i am mindful of them. i send blessings to each on their lenten journey and spiritual lives rooted in the every day. from sweeping to baking to playing to writing and all the spaces between. i pray a blessing on their hands, and yours, for you are in this community as well even if i don't see your face or know your name. you bless me, just as one of you sent the kindest of remarks in a moment that was appreciated on friday.

and it's sweet to feel that connection through the sharing of good recipes. i see so many online and mark them to return to them, but often through divinity girl, a still life, and others, i can get a taste of what will fit into my rhythm. now i'm the one sitting at the table on the computer saying, "Yes! i have made this recipe and have that cookbook on the wish list. the sticky buns, rolls, and loaf from that recipe made us so happy...and here's what i want to try next." there's an intimacy in food that's so rich and beautiful and of course, tasty. and i love sharing. i get so much energy in sharing and its witness to others.

each day brings something new. these days i can feel the something rising within, a birth taking shape again (metaphorically) where all this good energy, focus, baking, writing, and work is going to become something beautiful. i look forward to the day that i can name that something, but i know that it's connected to both the mindful act of silencing the critic and the mindful practice of living creatively. once named, then i can fill those baskets again and again, sharing them with you, my community.


  1. my grandmother told me the exact same thing about divinity. when i successfully made it the summer of my 8th grade year, i felt empowered. i've never been afraid of the kitchen since. she was always my most favorite critic. :)

    i miss you so much. love you. mean it. xoxo

  2. divinitygirl? is that me? i love that we're still in touch. you call me back to creativity again and again.

  3. Black Betty, didn't we make divinity together in home ec. or was it something else...somehow i hold you in that memory! you are a woman who can do anything!

    divinitygirl, yes, of course that's you! i am thankful for you and your creativity over and again!