Where you come from is a huge part of who you are and where you are going. They are the color of your hair, the crooked way you smile and your taste for corned beef and cabbage. They are the friends you couldn’t bear to lose and the family you turn to when you need them. They are the stories of your mom and your crazy aunts when they were in college, you know, in the stone age.
Your roots keep you grounded and give you strong footing, even if they can be a mangled mess of love and fear, hope and loss.
You might think a whisk an odd choice for an image that describe roots, but I don’t think it is. That photo is hanging in my mom’s kitchen (along with art I made in second grade). You see, some of my earliest memories happened in the kitchen. Standing on a chair so I could add the sugar to some cookies or the disastrous time I tried to make stuffed vidalia onions on Mother’s day.
Christmas cookies were always a multi-day affair that happened in the days after the actual holiday because that was when we could all be together to bake. When I went away to college, I could put together more with ramen noodles (before I went gluten-free) and some condiments that could survive a dorm fridge than most of my friends could manage with a lean cuisine and a microwave.
Whenever things got rocky or confusing, as long as my body was up to it, I would find myself in the kitchen. Baking mostly, but also making dinners and salsas and anything that involved the hypnotic motions of a kitchen.
I get it from my mom. The comfort found in a bustling kitchen rich with the aroma of home. It was common knowledge that a full heart is shared with a full plate – never does someone come to visit her without an offer of food, most likely some sort of freshly baked cookie. To this day, she never arrives at a party without a cake decorated to the nines (hopefully her famous carrot cake) or a pie that could turn the staunchest pie-apathetic into a believer.
These roots are deep and they are holding up one strong tree.