Tuesday, October 21, 2014

There’s the Dishes and Then There’s the Dishes

I take pride in my humble little kitchen, the operative word being little. My imagination goes wild in this small space where I whip up memorable repasts.

Being single, I most often enjoy meals by myself. Food is my companion. It nourishes and speaks to my body. I like it. It likes me.

Last night's entrée was no exception. Salmon en papillote dotted with organic butter, encrusted with crushed black pepper and sesame seeds. On the side: curried cauliflower purée blended with almond and coconut milk. And of course, something green: sautéed kale with sun-dried tomatoes.

I slowly savored my meal while listening to two unlikely companions, Oprah and Pema Chodron on Super Soul Sunday. Pema spoke about embracing -- with an ever-expanding heart -- all that which makes us uncomfortable. Can you be present with your fears? Can you make room for your discontent?

After dinner, I was tired. A huge pile of dishes stood before me in the sink.

“Ugh.” I thought. “Can I be present with my fatigue? And for Pete’s sake, how can a meal for one person make such a mess?”

I sighed and put on my dishwashing gloves.

And then I chuckled through the suds.

As in dishes, so in life. You see, it’s not that I had an insurmountable number of dishes to clean. It’s just that the sink was too small for the joyful, messy abundance in my creative culinary life. I’m so happy in the kitchen. What else matters?

“Well, if only I had a bigger sink,” I thought.

And then I shook my head. “No what if’s, Maria. Just be present. Keep scrubbing.”

Maybe that’s what Pema meant: it’s not that we have insurmountable fears in life. It’s just that our hearts are too small sometimes to take it all in, fears and all -- those glorious messes that make a meal taste even better.

No wonder fears take a hold of us. They’re stuck in the chambers of a tightly bound heart, with nowhere to go.

Well, you know what? Hey fear: relax, sit down and have dinner with me.

Square footage be damned. Sure, I’d love a bigger sink someday. Heck, why not an enormous kitchen? But my little space will do just fine in this moment as long as my heart continues to grow in the only way it knows -- to infinity.

Photo by Lex on Flickr. Not my kitchen!

1 comment:

Nessy said...

This is me every night lol. Love to cook, hate to clean. Thanks for the beautiful insight. Embrace messy :)