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The kitchen

The kitchen is the center of embodied life. Here I fix my coffee in a quiet morning before I tackle translating some Greek. I water my plants and watch my children play in the backyard. Boys sit at the bar and create, or learn to chop vegetables and make cookies. I talk to close friends on Voxer. I offer neighbors a drink of water. I make tea on rainy afternoons and knead bread dough when I’m stressed. Friends come over to share meals, and we plate food and serve drinks and laugh at our children’s questions.

To live we must eat. We consume food, but preparing food consumes us. Sometimes it is a burden; sometimes it is a gift. It is always a reminder. The kitchen prevents our own separation from our bodies, from our physicality. We are soft flesh, demanding of energy, but also in search of fellowship that nurtures the soul as well.

The kitchen nurtures our relationship with the earth. In a world where food can be shipped globally, though not without unsustainable cost, I step onto my porch and grab some basil for stir-fry, some oregano for pizza. I pile produce on the counter after selecting our CSA share from our local greenhouse. I drop meat from a local farm into my freezer. I take off my shoes from I return from watering my tiny, front-yard garden.

The kitchen calls me back to the magic of food, to the liturgy of eating. Flour and salt and yeast become bread. Bacon, mushrooms, and parmesan mingle and coat pasta. Conversation flows around chopping and scraping and washing. We offer thanks. We come, irritations and loves, to work and to eat. We do it day after day, because we must. Because it feeds us, body and soul.

May you put your hands to dirt of good work. May you eat the fruit of your labor. May you set down your phone and invite someone into your space to chop, then to eat. May some of your food come from places near you. May gratitude be offered with every bite. May the work our lives require shape us to live with care and with wonder.

This is an Instagram post from May 2022 and a garden picture from last year. Groundhogs ate all my lettuce this year.

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