by Caroline

I’m on vacation with my family this week before Easter, traveling around New England visiting my niece, various cousins, my parents and brothers. I’ll have some food to write about soon enough, but in the meantime, I want to offer a very short post, a passage from an essay by Nancy Nordenson, “Things that Fall and Things that Stand.” The essay is in Leslie Leyland Fields’ wonderful anthology, The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting Toward God, and later this spring I’ll post a full review of the book, but for now here is a passage that speaks to me as I start planning the many meals for this week with my family.

“The pancake stack disappears. The last of the coffee sits in the mugs. A few drips of syrup and lingonberries glisten on the wood’s surface. We are happy about each other and we are full. …

“I know not to waste suffering and fear. I know to use them as hard lessons, to extract the nugget of what I have yet to learn or what I need to learn yet again or what I can only hope to someday learn. But how not to waste these moments?

“We’ll soon get up from the table and do who knows what and drive who knows where for all the rest of our lives. But here, now, the wholeness of this moment, dense and round as a concrete piling driven deep into bedrock, anchors our paths. This is what it feels like when all is well. A mnemonic of experience as real as any. Might not a person just tip right over from the weight of fear or angst without this ballast at the other end?”