A Blessing and a Burden

Dear Joey,

Last night you told me you looked up Rachel in the dictionary and it said, “perseverance.” This is me, today, persevering.  I’m choosing to do what I have purposely avoided for nearly four months.

In the time since moving across the hills, back to this place, has been and continues to be both a blessing and a burden. At first, it was easy to see the blessing. We were optimistic and thankful most of the time, choosing to focus on the good that would come out of moving back in with my family.

These days I feel burdened most of the time. It’s as if I’ve been walking around in a fog, feeling completely unlike myself, disconnected from the person I had become, the one I actually liked, the one that I was when we first met – the one you fell in love with.

Not even spending time in the kitchen has helped.  Losing myself in the rhythms of the kitchen: knives chopping, spoons stirring, hands kneading – usually that’s what helps me sort through things, but for awhile, it has felt more like a chore than anything else.  Perhaps it was me feeling displaced, not in my own kitchen anymore, working with a stove and pantry and tools that weren’t my own. I’ve been uninspired to do much more than just get something edible on the plate.

But I realize now that the foods I choose to cook are inextricably entwined in my story. There was a reason, after all, that I made Baked Chicken Parmesan a couple months ago, why Blueberry Stuffed French Toast is my new vote for Christmas morning breakfasts, and why I came up with Sweet Potato Dumplings (with or without chicken) last week. But it was this picture, taken today, that made me realize that the story behind these recipes are actually more valuable than the recipes themselves. There is a story behind this moment, one that involves a recipe for that Peanut Butter Dip we love so much. A story that I promise to tell in another post.

For now, let me say this:  I’m sorry I stopped writing. You once asked me never to stop writing, and I did, on purpose, for the past several months. But I’m back at it, because it is both a blessing and a burden, and as it turns out, sometimes the burden is the most valuable part.

Love, Scratch

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