The Kitchen: What do I bring?

I am imagining that there are some who have read all of these reflections on The Kitchen and thought:  gee, where is all this sweetness and spice around the kitchen coming from (no pun intended).  I say this because I, myself, have days when I walk into the kitchen and it’s anything but a sweet experience.  It can simply feel like work that I don’t want to do, feel like I have to do, and from there resentment is not far away.

There are, indeed, all those other experiences that we have been writing about here, where The Kitchen is that place where magic happens, where not only bodies are fed, but souls touch souls, memories are made, and a deep sense of security is experienced and renewed.

What’s the difference?  I suspect that the difference is what we bring into The Kitchen with us.  I can walk in tired, grumpy, worried or angry, anxious about all that is still on today’s “must do” list and what I see in The Kitchen is something else to finish and check off the list.  If you walk into that space and get in my way, I am likely not to respond so kindly.

I can walk into The Kitchen hungry and knowing that my family and friends who will join me soon are hungry, too.  I can enter there with the expectation that I will have time with my beloveds.  If I am alone on a particular occasion, I may take some comfort in food, silence and a book to read or music to enjoy, in The Kitchen.

I’ve also had these moments, and I suspect those reading have, too.  I have entered The Kitchen dragging along with me all the clutter of the day, grumpy and not to be crossed without a fight.  Somewhere in those first few moments, I take a deep breath and realize that I don’t want all of that to be cooked into the meal I am about to prepare.  Another breath.  Another choice.  Moments later this thing to be done with and checked off the list becomes the place that I am, right now, the place where I welcome others, right now.  The Kitchen where I entered with a scowl becomes the place where I can smile, breathe deeply and know that I am Home.  The only thing left to do besides sit down and eat with my family (or myself) is to light the Chalice and be grateful.  This is real magic: a breath, an intention, and gratitude, in The Kitchen.

Bob Patrick

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