“Smells good” youngest said as she wandered through the kitchen on the way to the office. “Smells like sorrow, regret” I thought to myself. The kitchen was a mess. I struggled my way through making a pie for Mikey, for Jennie, for me and mine.
I couldn’t find the heart shaped springform pan that I think I left behind when we moved here. I worried chocolate teddy grahams that Denise picked up wouldn’t be right. The butter was aged…well I hope. I grumbled about the brand of peanut butter in the house. I hadn’t used the “small bowl” on the food processor my mother got me for my birthday. I hadn’t actually used the mixer I received for Christmas. I worried over my (also a gift) new computer sitting in the kitchen. It’s a Friday after a couple of really long weeks. I didn’t want to be making peanut butter pie–willing the cream to whip in the warmth of a summer kitchen. But, I had known since Tuesday I could not skip making a peanut butter pie.
I failed to make my mother understand the pie. My son regarded the reasoning with disinterest. Youngest didn’t regard it as remarkable really and the other youngest tried to ignore the noise and mess. The child who might understand is off happily camping. Then, of course, she wouldn’t understand the whole thing. Baking, making desserts, those are joyful things for her.
She wouldn’t see that the disaster in the kitchen symbolized the disaster that I sometimes feel I wade through, we all wade through. It’s been a rough summer for many of the bloggers I read and my heart isn’t nearly so hard as I like to pretend. The world in general seems to be a pressure cooker–from Washington to Oslo to London to the Middle East and Africa. All of that and more weighed on my mind as I tried to concentrate on making the pie for Mikey. Jennie Perillo’s heart is shattered. I can’t even imagine what she or her children feel right now.
And there I was, my head grumbling to cover my sorrow, my regrets, my trivial problems, amidst the utter rightness of making a pie on a summer afternoon instead of so many other things that wouldn’t make a difference at all. One pie might not make a difference. My mother won’t ever understand. My kids will shrug. Denise will know it is my love song and the fact that I am a part of an amazing community. Because, yes, I am baking a pie because of Jennie, of Mikey, but really, it’s to say yes, I know life flees too fast, a to-do list should be rearranged, and I recognize that this is my community. That is why one pie will make a difference, because so many of us stopped today and thought, celebrated, and voiced our love for Jennie, for our families, for our community while we made “just one pie.”
I thought “smells like sorrow, regret” and then thought again “No, it smells like love.” Thank you Jennie.