The week before the girls came home for Thanksgiving, I was filling the fridge with their favorite foods. Elly loves raspberries. Eva loves smoked salmon. And I baked pumpkin bread and made a winter potage, all in preparation of their visit. As I stirred and sifted and burned and spilled, I felt grateful for the privilege of filling my home with nourishing food, for the privilege of having children who want to come home. Eva reminded us that she gave up a fabulous Thanksgiving in NYC to be with us!
And the flipside was cleaning out the fridge after getting back from dropping off the girls at the airport. The pies had been eaten. The soup was nearly gone, and a whole shelf was empty. And filthy.
I stared at the shelf. The shelf and I became one—empty, discarded, no longer necessary. Ode to the empty shelf…
Empty can mean and ending; it can also mean a beginning. I am not discarded. But maybe some old beliefs could be discarded.
Such as, I am only a mom and only exist to serve others. Or, any sad feeling should be avoided and pushed through, because—who wants to feel bad? Or, change is unbearable. Or, here’s a big one—no one loves me and everyone leaves me. Or even…and this is where it starts getting tricky…stop feeling sorry for yourself; you know none of this is true.
That last one really trips me up. A lot. So I got out the rag, put some soap on it, and started cleaning the shelf. Slowly. While I belted out a song on my Spotify list. And I washed away the spots and dried this and that and there was my spanking clean shelf. Beautiful. Empty, for now. And that’s ok. Empty and beautiful. But not really empty. Just anticipating the next culinary delight. Maybe something Russian from Salt and Time. Yes, I’ve got a hankering for bortsch