Picking out a carton of strawberries, tearing off leaves of cabbage, selecting bananas that were still green near the stem, I moved.
A few hours later, I bought myself a mug of tea and sat down at my favorite bookstore. The people around me were talking, laughing, buying books and lattes. I sat, quiet but heavy, and sipped out of my mug.
Tonight, Ryan and I made pretzels. Pots of water were boiling, our oven was buzzing, and my face felt flushed. I left the kitchen to rest in my dark and cool bedroom. I closed my eyes, took in ten deep breaths, tried to steady my pounding heart.
This grief is mysterious. The loss of my sister and my nephew is like an unknown seed slowly sprouting into a plant with leaves and stems and blooms that can't be classified.
Most easily recognized are the tears, but more confusing is the anger, the fear, the anxiety. I go to bed praying that nothing else this tragic will fall on our family. I go to bed praying because I'm too afraid to let my mind do anything else.
The grocery clerk who brought me an artichoke, smiled at me with his toothless grin. He told me to enjoy the vegetable for him, and he meant it....there was no malice in his voice.
I took home an African Violet today, and it reminded me of my great-aunt Dot, who kept those potted plants with exquisite care. It rests on the top of my bookshelf, its purple flowers set against the pale green of my living room.
My husband held me while I rocked in bed tonight, he rubbed my neck and my toes. He told me that he loves me. He told me everything will be all right.
And I found the prettiest piece of Japanese paper. The blue and brown cherry blossoms reminded me that despite tragedy, flowers still bloom. I held the delicate paper in my hands and thought of my best friend friend in Japan. I sent her my love across the ocean, and I felt the love of countless others bombard me as I walked and talked and cooked and prayed today.
One pastry round (enough for a one crust pie) chilled
3 1/2 cups fresh, sliced strawberries
2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP milk
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper (a rimmed cookie sheet prevents any bubbling juice from getting into your oven).
2. Combine your sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Gently stir in strawberries and lemon juice.
3. Roll out your pastry dough into a 9 inch circle and place on cookie sheet. Spoon strawberry mixture into the middle, leaving a 2-inch border of pie dough. Carefully fold the border dough into the center, pleating decoratively.
4. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat your dough with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores