I am cooking again. I am writing again. And I am smiling. So much.
This is partly because I am back in my beloved North Carolina, where the sun shines, the sky is blue, and summer is in the process of pressing upon us her bounty of endless fruits and vegetables just begging to be turned into some creative dish (that one must, of course!, write about).
But this is also due to a man who plays the banjo, dances salsa, grows the meanest cherry tomatoes I have ever tasted and, when the sun is blaring hot outside, wears a Stetson hat (which, can I just say, is one sexy hat). A man who danced his way into my life a couple months ago and who, in more ways than one, has brought me back to me.
For one, it is in his kitchen that I started cooking again. It’s not much of a kitchen, really. It’s tiny and narrow with very little counter space, but I love it. It fits the two of us perfectly. Literally. You add another person and you’ll start bumping into each other and dropping things. Three’s a definite crowd in that kitchen. And – wait for it (be still, dear heart) – it has a gas stove. A real one. With blue flames and everything. I get excited just thinking about it.
It’s in the heat of that gas stove and in the slender space between those white counter tops that I started coming back to life. Not that I had been very far from life, just that the part of me that is awake, really awake, when I cook and write had fallen into a deeper-than-I-realized slumber. And one that had lasted longer than I cared to admit.
And so, to ensure that I stay awake, I have decided to write. Here. For myself. To capture those moments I love (and those I don’t love so much) so that I may always remember the feeling of the sun on my back as I reach for the plumpest blueberries on the bush, the ones way up above my head that have been especially sun-kissed, and pop them into my mouth anticipating their sweet outburst and swooning with delight every time, all the same.
This is why I write. Because food, in all its beauty and wholesome glory, makes me want to say YES to life.
So here I am, dear readers. Excited, a little shaky, and oh-so-ready to plunge in. Will you join me? It's easy, really. Just pull up a chair (preferably an old rocking one), grab a glass of wine, put your feet up and we’ll be off. Ready? Allons-y!