Change, Divorce

The Year of Pottery

We had a cookie ceremony. Friends and family poured ingredients into a shared bowl. Sugar, flour, chocolate, salt. The dear ones who were married long enough to know something about sticking it out through the rough stuff had painted a bowl to hold this moment. They’d splashed it sunflower yellow and added coral loops. Their baby daughter’s footprint marked the base.

Each participant stepped up and told a story. My almost-sister-in-law cracked open an egg and recalled the chicken coop in the yard in Wisconsin. My mother added pecans and told about the trees on the long-gone land of our Oklahoma kin. Each story found its way into the mix that was becoming Us.

When the mandolin and fiddle played the happy jig, the ceremony turned into dancing and caterers served chocolate chip cookies to everyone.

Nine years, it would have been.

We live up the street from each other now, both of us just a short jump to the park where we stood laughing in the sweltering sun on this day then. The man I married is my friend, our mix now composed mostly of flour and salt. It’s light on sugar but I don’t mind. It’s been 18 months since I’ve eaten a cookie. I’ve shed the craving for sweet.

The yellow bowl is a pop of light on my kitchen counter. It cradles lemons, nectarines, the paper husks of garlic bulbs. When my boy and I come home from school, I dance around the sink and stove cobbling together a meal. My son goes to relax in his “spot,” a bare wooden chair in the corner under the calendar.

He reaches into the bowl and pulls out a banana just like he did the last time he was here.

“You hungry for a snack, bub?” I ask.

“Sort of.” He splits the peel open and settles back. “This is just what I do now. This how it is.”

8 thoughts on “The Year of Pottery”

  1. Beautiful analogy. I, too, have some relics from a similar part of my past. It’s funny how they reimagine themselves. And funny how our kids do that, too, in their own way.

    1. I learn from so many things from my kiddo, not the least of which is how to decide “this is how things are,” and then just to inhabit the new. He can be just as stubborn sticking with the old ways, of course. As can I.

      1. A life’s journey, and so it goes. Wandering has its moments of fear and pain and its moments of glory and strength. Here is to finding the strength in the midst of the overwhelming!

  2. I really do read, before I ‘like’.
    I love your style.
    And I ‘like’ this post.

    This one, especially.
    Takes me home to some memories, believe it or not.

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