Last Saturday I spent five hours in the kitchen.
It was a warm day and I'd been promising my boyfriend sticky buns for several weeks. It was a warm day, everyone in the house was busy, the sun shone, and I felt very peaceful. Whenever I am baking or cooking for other people I always feel happy. With an apron on, wrist deep in soft, warm dough. The smell of cinnamon and yeast was in the air, mixed with the scent of the mint my little brother was picking and stuffing into his pockets for later. It was a lovely picture.
Recently I've been getting into cookbooks. I don't really enjoy following recipes, but I love stories about food. They are such vivid memories that paint bright, colorful pictures. The stories are relatable, mouth-watering, and inspiring. I like to read them and think about all the things I am going to bake in the future.
But anyway, the real reason I decided to sit down and write a blog post is because I love memories and I love sharing memories. So today I have a short memory for you.
On Sweet Dog Farm (where I lived as a little kid) we had two beautiful flowering cherry trees outside our house. Our favorite was right next to the house, outside my bedroom window. In the springtime the trees had the softest blossoms I've ever felt. They were pink like cherry blossoms, full as peonies, and soft as down. The blossoms were delicate and the petals would fall with the slightest breeze, creating a carpet of soft pink beneath it's branches.
We called it the Swinging Tree because of one sturdy branch which held a simple stick swing. The first swing was created from an old dog leash and a narrow branch. After that it went through many iterations. It was made from ropes, yarn (that didn't last long!), even old extension cords.
I used to sit on that swing for hours, all times of year. I'd be in my own little world, spinning the swing around and around until whatever rope was holding me up finally snapped. A few times I was so distracted by my imagination and my constant spinning that I smacked my head right into the tree trunk.
That one tree held our dreams and our imaginative play. It patiently carried our weight as we grew and it could tell stories of all the arguments we had and the games we created. It stood there through the years as its bark was worn smooth like polished mahogany. I remember running my hand over that smooth place, in awe of how soft and shiny it had become.
These days I see the soft pink blossoms or the pale, wrinkled leaves of a flowering cherry tree and I am brought right back to a place and time when things were much, much simpler.
Until next time!