Monday, April 30, 2007

Thankful Sunday

Its early Sunday evening and I’m standing in the kitchen doing a mental run through of the meal I am going to prepare. I love to cook but today I’m being a bit of a grump, cranky cause I can feel a cold coming on. Gather up everything for the dishes which takes countless trips to the fridge, freezer and pantry. Darn, I forgot to get the beans. Not too pleased I head back to the fridge, which is not that far away but I’m grumbling to myself. Get the beans and put them in the sink and look at them and it hits me, here I am grumbling about the very short walk to get the beans when there are so many folks out there who have nothing to eat, starving and dying of hunger. I mean all I have to do is walk to the fridge to get the beans, I have food, and some don’t even have food to prepare a meal. My grumpy outlook starts to disappear. I have food to eat and if I’m hungry its not for lack of food its cause I don’t want to prepare something. Thank You God.

I start to prepare the seasonings to marinate the chops. Mortar and pestle in hand I begin to combine everything. I look out the window. The sun is now beginning to peek out, had been raining earlier. I see the light being reflected off the droplets of water on the trees and grass, it looks like tiny flashes of light, like someone is trying to take my picture. I smile. The birds are chattering in the trees, I see a butterfly on one of the bougainvillea and would you believe it I see a humming bird. Geez, it has been so long since I saw a humming bird and there it is just hovering in front of me. Beautiful. I see my two dogs rolling around on the lawn. I whistle them and they spring up and look in my direction. They are smiling at me, and yes dogs do smile. They can be a handful at times, especially when they try to dig to China in the flower beds but I would not trade them in for anything. Beauty surrounds me, I don’t have to look very far to see the splendor of creation, its right before me and I fail to notice it sometimes. Some look out their windows and see nothing but destruction and barrenness. Picturesque beauty before me, created just for me to enjoy. Thank you God.

Pots are a bubbling, oven is a broiling and my hands are going a mile a minute, grating, pounding, rubbing. The phone rings, hands are dirty and everyone else is either sleeping or not home. Let the machine get it. Its my friend and my goddaughter. I hear them both giggling, I know its cause of the silly jingle I have as the message on the machine. ‘That will never get old, only you would have a singing message on your machine.’ I giggle too and walk over to the phone and put it on speaker using my elbow, don’t know why I didn’t think of that sooner. They called to say hello. Finish the conversation and smile. Go back to cooking and I hear that very distinct whistle. Its my cousin who I have not seen for going on two months trying to get my attention from his kitchen window next door. He moved out last year but still remains ‘the official taster’ as he calls himself. He says that he will be right over, he can see that he is needed. Its amazing how a guy can smell food a mile away (not that far in this case) but cant hear ya if you are standing right in front of them. He comes and sits himself on the counter and we start to talk. I love these moments. He tastes and I stir. It passes the test. Perfecto. People who care, people who are there, I’m thankful. Thank You God.

Time passes, tummies get filled and pots get empty. Family, friends and food. Beauty, magnificent beauty before me. What do I have to complain about? Yea, I may not be feeling well but I really don’t have anything to complain about. I have much to be thankful for. Goodbye Mrs. Cranky, hello Mrs. Thankful. I don’t have to look very hard, don’t have to look very far, just have to open my eyes and be attentive.

Fact is that we, the vast majority of the world, focuses so much on the negative that we don’t see all the positive that surrounds us. So the kitchen could use a make over but hey at least you have a kitchen and food to cook. So your clothes are so yesterday, least you have clothes, some have nothing but what is on their back. So your car breaks down, ole Betsy has seen better days so you have to foot it. Well think about those who never had a car or cant walk cause they are paralyzed or its just not safe to go out walking.

Today take a moment and open your eyes and look before you and see all that you have to be thankful for. Finding it difficult? Try being thankful for the things you have not!