I am pretty sure that, looking back and from bird perspective, most people will see patterns emerge in their lives. There are certain moments that seemingly create a full circle, where earlier events all fall into place. Like images you see and which your mind starts to combine. I like those patterns because they spark your imagination and create a story with a beginning and an ending. However, do not take those stories too seriously. Especially concerning ourselves. They are but a connecting of a few dots, not who we really are.
Last Wednesday my best friend lost her mother.
She texted me when I was on my way to work. I had just boarded into an over-crowded train when I heard my phone buzz. Her short message made me catch my breath. I didn’t care about not having a seat, or standing too close to other noisy passengers.
Even though her mother had been very ill with a growing number of terminal afflictions, and even though during those last weeks her suffering had become increasingly unbearable, so that my friend, staying at her mother’s side as much as possible, exclaimed that she would be grateful for final peace and the ending of all pain, in spite of all that, losing her mother was a deafening blow. The two of them had been so close. Her mother had been a warm, wise and witty woman. A woman who always looked for the good in other people, who opened her heart and remained cheerful and strong in the face of the worse. A mother in every sense of the word, and we are never ready to let go of such a mother.
These past few days, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, even more so than usual. Thoughts of my friend and what she was going through raced through my mind. My inability to visit her right away had left me somewhat frustrated. Since there was nothing I could do, and to take time off from my rambling mind, I focused on food. Working with materials that are straightforward and beautiful by themselves didn’t fail to cheer me up. The humble sensuous pleasures that come with creating a dish nurtured me. As always And during the transformations of ingredients like eggs, butter, sugar, flour and oranges I forgot to think and just smelled, tasted, felt and saw. I was dealing with the simple reality of a recipe. Not thinking about mothers dying.
Today was her funeral.
My friend lives way up North, and yesterday snow started to fall. The whole country has slowly submerged under a heavy blanket snow. This caused trains, buses and all the traffic to delay in such a bad way, that I never even made it to the funeral service. So here I am, back home, it’s winter outside and I’m tired and cold. I’m flipping through my notebook of recipes.
A good, hot bowl of chicken soup will hopefully help me see the world as a wondrous place again.