Not everything that comes into the kitchen needs to stay in the kitchen. A few weeks before Bob and I got married I visited him in his small three room house in Alabama. A look in the fridge produced a large pan with unrecognizable fuzzy remains. It was forgotten leftovers. The odor from the pan was quite rigid and the cleaning out of the pan became its own adventure. With a snicker I thought, “Once we are married this will never happen again. Single guy never knows what’s in the fridge . Ugh”.
Turns out six months after we were married I had my first opportunity to eat those very words. I found myself pulling out a very similar large pan with unrecognizable fuzzy remains out of what was now our fridge in the same small house we both now occupied. This pan was a new one – probably a wedding gift. The remains in the pan were fuzzy, all kinds of greens and browns, pungent, and unrecognizable. Turns out the only thing we did better as a couple in this regard was to grow stuff in the fridge at double the capacity.
Not everything in the kitchen is meant to be for time and eternity. Sometimes the stuff just needs to go. Combinations of spices and herbs need to be altered. Ingredient levels need to be revisited. If it smells when you open the door you’ve got to figure out why.
It is the same with those things in our lives that were once full of meaning and purpose and then, when unvisited for a time become stale or odor some and fuzzy. Some of them need to be cleaned out and given a fresh start. Others need to be let go. There is nothing wrong with starting over. It is part of the healing process and it just makes everything fresh again!
Editor’s note: We have tagged this devotion with the 5th Unitarian Universalist Principle. Often we get hung up about “the democratic process” and fail to remember that the first part of the principle honors the right to conscience. This reflection calls us to the power of our choices and change. Authentic democracy is built on deep consideration of one’s conscience.
I have a tendency to clean my house in spurts, depending on how much energy I have on a given day. I always do the basics (dishes, laundry), but that ‘deep cleaning’ as my Mom called it, I reserve that for the weekends when I am bored and feel good. I have to admit that once I finally get around to that deep cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, mopping, etc) my house feels not only fresher, but clearer, brighter, and peacefully restored. When things get cluttered and dusty, the fuzz that enters my brain has to go. It’s a work in progress. Some of my friends have made my house a storage facility for their stuff. This definitely has to go after Christmas! May we all find peace this holiday as we make room for ourselves and our loved ones.