Cooking can be monotonous at times. The peeling of a bushel of carrots. Slicing of onions. Grating of garlic. The knife rocking back and forth, an extension of my arm.
Then there is the waiting. Waiting to simmer. Waiting to bake. Waiting for a cold pan to come to the right temperature. For the meat to brown.
I cherish it all. The beginning, walking into an enchanted land. Carefully filling my apron with ingredients that will transform at my hand. The creating. Always the finished creation.
And then there is the gathering at the table. The thanksgiving to Him who gives everything. The eating. Smiling. Savoring.
This whole process is a ritual for me. The beginning of the ending of a day.
While I’m waiting, I do find a wandering mind. Journeying to places I’ve seen in my dreams. Asking questions. Because I’ve finally quieted enough to create room for questions.
And I hear her question,
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I used to have big dreams when I was young. Grandiose dreams.
I am 29 now. Old to some and so young to others. My dreams are small now.
And that’s the way I like them.
I used to think my dreams collapsed because I’d grown jaded. I’d grown up, an imprint of the American dream. I’d just, well, I’ve grown up. And my small dreams made me sober. And I thought, unlovely.
But I took stock of these dream this one rainy, southern morning.
And these small dreams were everything lovely to me.
I want to be a loving neighbor.
I want our home to be open. Always open. Always filled with love and acceptance and flowing with the grace that only He can give.
I want to live in freedom. Freedom in my mind and in my heart.
I want to serve meals to our community. To invite them over and have them prop their feet up and to just receive and receive and receive. And I want them to know that our Father also asks us to open up hands and receive from Him.
Honestly, I just want to love those around me. Which means I will only be known by those around me. Not by the world. Not with awards. Not with this whole spinning, looking for the next viral, like, like, click, click world knowing my name.
At the core of who I am I want to leave this world with a slumped back. Because I think that will mean I was bending to serve those around me. Because I was bent over the stove where God gave me a passion.
With calloused hands. Because I choose to work and not be idle.
With permanent creases and wrinkles around my eyes and mouth. Because I was always smiling. Always laughing. How can you not with a Savior like ours?
With gray hair that points to wisdom. Because I messed up so much in this life but I was willing to be corrected. To learn. To accept His discipline. And to grow.
These are the dreams that make me feel alive. Like He can use me.
And in the end, loving someone will never ever be small, will it?