In the midst of Anita's party, I was already thinking and feeling about what we all can bring to the table, to this life, and was all the more happy for it.
I was delighted in reading Swampy's words because I was reminded that sometimes those everyday articles from the kitchen, and those we oftimes use to bring our offerings to the table, are as full of meaning to us as the gifts and the gatherings about the table themselves: metta you can hold in your hand.
I was delighted because my special kitchen feelings are evoked by green glass as well: Fire King Jadeite, the tableware used day in and day out by my grandmother, and therefore, such a powerful touchstone for all those feelings and thoughts that are so difficult to put words to---thoughts and feelings so much more easy to speak of by the dance in the kitchen, the putting on the plate, the enjoying with others---be it in the present, or be it in our memories.
Dear reader, at one point in my life, I was a single parent without a home; having only my toddler (now Big Guy), the clothes on our backs, and a garbage bag hastily crammed with favored toys; although this stage of our life lasted for a relatively short time, I still struggled as a single parent, as so many of us do.
Yet I valued so highly what the Fire King Jadeite embodied that I once bought 12 plates I found at a flea market for 5 dollars each---and believe me, at that time, 60 dollars for plates that I did not need, but merely wanted, was a frivolous amount, ridiculously so.
You see, I felt so torn from so much of the goodness I had previously known, dear reader, and flung so far away from it: I felt as if those plates were a means, a map, to help me return to what I knew once before, long ago. If I held one, if I ate from one, and served my son what I cooked on one, I could almost barely feel my heart soften and turn---some embryonic feeling that I hoped would grow, and live, and breathe.
Of those original 12, I have but 6 that remain. Looking back, I'm glad for my frivolity, that leap of faith: I bought the insurance, hope-against-hope that remains with me today, despite the bumps and bad breaks along the way. They are ever present at our table.
Do you have a favorite touchstone from the kitchen? I'd love to hear about it, dear reader.
I'm glad to know that at the flea market, some wisdom older than myself knew better: yes, I wanted the plates; yet, I needed them just as much---perhaps even more so.
Dear reader, may you always have what you need, in the same magic and beautiful ways that a stack of glass has worked for me.
Thank you so much for joining me at the table.
Older Sunbeam mixer and child's "toy" mixer
with Fire King Jadeite mixing bowls