When I’m stressed or afraid, I cook. There is something Zen about the measuring, the chopping, the peeling…Something about preparing food to nurture our bodies that reassures us that yes, life goes on.
On 9/11- we kept our kids home from school. My best friend Erin came over, and as everyone sat glued to CNN, terrified, I tearfully got busy in the kitchen. First, it was enormous stacks of pancakes. Then I baked cookies. Then Spaghetti and meatballs…and on and on.
When problems get us down, Troy and I will often make soup. We’ll put on some soothing music, open a bottle of wine, stand side-by-side chopping and mincing and talking it through. Then as our concoction simmers, the aroma filling the house, we reflect and let our thoughts settle.
2011 ended so lovely that I stepped into 2012 with great optimism…but WHAM-O. Life sucker-punched us and soon there were funerals to attend, friends and family in crisis, and some major crises of our own.
So I got back in the kitchen.
Two lasagnas, five brie paninis, two garlic shrimp pastas, one mound of spaghetti, three pies, a double batch of muffins and two dozen snickerdoodles later, I still haven’t solved anything. But feeding my family and friends makes me feel, in some way, like I am sending my own kind of love out into the cosmos.
Last night, a friend who was eating my lasagne and apple pie said, “If this is what you do when you’re stressed, no one will ever wish you well.” I told her to take advantage of my stress while it’s here. When I’m happy I can get lazy, writing all day and ordering in Thai food.
For now as my worries mount, I pray, I meditate, I visualize healing, I try to write, and I cook.