I had a moment of pure, unadulterated joy as I left my office yesterday evening. A bout of early morning wakefulness (so unexpected and irritating, at the time) led to me arriving in my office at 6:15 - a wee bit earlier than I generally arrive, I'll admit. Amazingly, I had no trouble staying awake all morning and was actually quite productive. On my lunch break, I discovered a very interesting book in the communal bookshelf in the coffee shop upstairs and spent close to the entire hour lost in a gripping storyline. So, overall, not a bad day, but at 5:05, when I walked out those big double doors and breathed in the fresh Portland air, I was sooo happy. Why?
In my purse, I had a shopping list and my debit card. Waiting for me, after a luxurious stroll through Safeway? A kitchen. Large? No. Tricked out? Not really. Mine? All mine? Yes.
They weren't fancy recipes, the 3 that I chose to make last night, just a few of the freezer recipes I used to make so often for our little family in Texas. Normally double batches (although when divvied up for feed just me, they ended up being quadruple batches), made to feed us after busy days at work and school. But last night, it was more than that. It was chopping and stirring and seasoning and simmering and knowing that the combination of a prescribed set of ingredients, prepared and combined in a prescribed method, will almost always result in the same resulting dish. It was feeling the simple joy of doing something I used to take for granted and haven't done in so long.
It was home.
It was love.
It was, for the first time in many months, me feeling like myself, despite my location, my job, or being away from my boys.