not so long ago, i was poking around the back shelves of a dear friend’s flower shop, back where vases teeter tipsy-topsy, and vast pots are stacked so high they scrape the pressed-tin ceiling, when suddenly i tripped upon her.
oh, no, not my friend.
the new little darling i shove onto every counter, every corner of the kitchen table, every nook and cranny that will have her.
heck, i’d plop her by the bathroom sink, if i could, perch the toothpaste on her flat-planed saucer, her offering plate, her dish that coos, “come try me. i waft above.”
let me attempt here to convey her loveliness: she is old, very, very old. and she’s cracked right through the middle, a crack i didn’t notice till i got her home. but i loved her by then, so she’s here to stay.
she’s all cut glass, with–ta-da!–a DOME, a see-through bell-shaped lid, with little knob, that makes ceremony of the mere act of lifting. and down beneath, the part that puts her in a class above any old cake plate, is the oyster-pink perch upon which she pirouettes.
oh, she’s a looker, all right.
she makes me swoon.
and i am hoisting everything i can think of onto her raised-up parts: cookies from a plain old bag, the kind cranked out in some ho-hum factory, not even the ones you stir and slide into your very own oven, the only kind you’d think were worthy of such elevation; muffins, ones i make, or ones i don’t; even apples sliced, laid out in fan decks, one crescent wedge of granny smith nestled up against a sweet pink lady. under glass, always under glass.
i must confess: i think i might have crossed another one of those invisible lines here, the ones that whisper in our ear when we’ve gone a little loopy. a bit beyond the beyond.
i am mad, it seems, for foodstuffs with altitude. even when it’s only measured off in inches. i am, perhaps, a tad too keen on the launching pads that raise up what we nibble on, the kitchenware that might as well be a drum-roll: the cake stand, thank you very much.
i could–if no one kept close watch on my wallet–acquire them in droves. i’d slide them here and there throughout my house. like imelda marcos, i fear, only without the stiletto. and not in pairs. my obsession stands on just one leg.
but here’s how i’d defend myself in the court of odd fixations: there is, your honor, something inherently proud–downright generous, i’d posit–about a serving piece that doesn’t cower in the corner, one that steps right up and preens. stork-like, on singular appendage.
it makes for yet another one of those wee small moments in a day when the ordinary stands to be transformed. when an inch, sometimes, goes the mile.
we are, every one of us, here but for a spell. and with the gift of each and every day, we have this choice: we slog through, or we pick up those feets and skip along.
we toss food on paper plate; we call it fuel. get by.
or we stitch, one thread and needle at a time, regard for the holiness into everything we do.
okay, so maybe everything is stretching it a bit. maybe three times outa ten we pay attention.
maybe when the ones we love, or even our little own selves, come panting ‘round the bend, we meet them there with what amounts to gracenotes: cookies on a cake stand. under glass.
parsley tucked beside the scrambled eggs (because it’s growing just beyond the door, darn it, and why not snip it off, take it up a silly notch, make for the beautiful instead of plain old pedestrian).
maybe my altitudinal tendencies, at heart, are all about the knowing, through and through, that what we do here in the places we call home, that the itty-bitty barely-noticed tweaks and joys, are all but a part of the sacred vow we put to task each day: to live out our earthliness with an eye, at every turn, on high.
and to shine that holiness on those we love.
even when it’s just a store-bought cupcake. one that finds itself up off the counter, and under glass.
not so shabby, a life’s work for a cracked old cake stand.
not so shabby, not at all.
what are the itty bitty ways you lift up your humdrum days? make ceremony of the simply act of living, and loving? i wait to see who wanders by this week. p.s. let me know if you too have a thing for any odd kitchen ware…..i’m wondering.