Saturday, September 15, 2007

Memories Are Like Ripples of Water

An archeologist finds shards of pottery, labels the find and continues to look for the remaining pieces. Find enough broken fragments and a shape forms. I think it’s like stories. What is an autobiography or a biography but a collection of stories and conjectures? Today is your birthday. I only have a handful of stories—too few to see the whole, but enough to savor as memories: Climbing Look Out Mountain and earning red bandanas because no one whined about how long it took, sledding two to a sled and crashing into snow banks, drawing pictures of Mickey Mouse with magic markers, knee high in leaves at Gambrill State Park and disappearing into cone shaped piles of autumn, going to Girl scout Camp and learning how to cook using a tin can. I still have a picture of you wearing your Brownie outfit.

I remember when we made ratatouille —I peeled and you cut. I see us standing in the kitchen adding spices to the simmering zucchini, onion and eggplant, slivers of mushrooms and sliced tomatoes. Whenever I make that dish I think of the aroma in that kitchen and how the universe stopped for a few moments. Remember the surprise party you planned? I walked in and found a table set with hats, favors, paper cups and cupcakes you baked. I almost expected that when I ate one it would be filled with ratatouille. There are other memories—like flecks of paint on shards—too hard to really decipher. I imagine what you look like and I find it hard to add years. Today I’ll stand in the kitchen and recall how you added basil and I added oregano. Happy Birthday. May your year be filled with blessings.


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