As I foretold, today was spent cooking – browning sausage, making scone dough, baking our pumpkin pie, while Amanda chopped onions and celery. Cranberry sauce is done. The kitchen is cleaned.
But I’m here to tell you something right now: I am out of shape. I’ve talked before about having lost my cooking mojo since Gus was born. I’ve regained some of it, but after all the cooking today, I realize that I am out of shape.
I went to yoga this morning before the cooking started. It’s a baby-friendly class, so I assumed my various warrior poses and made faces at Gus, keeping him as chill as possible so I could work on getting as chill as possible, which is a tall order these days when I really don’t feel chill at all. As I huffed and puffed my way through the poses, trying to remember to breathe, I realized (not for the first time) that I’m out of shape physically as well as culinarily.
But the redeeming thing – the thing I remind myself of as I rush this scattered blog post, as I enjoy the lingering smells of cranberry and brown sugar and fennel in the air – is that while I may be out of shape, the love is still there. The passion for cooking, the quick sureness that lingers just beneath the surface, if I can just click onto the rails. When I get into the zone – when I’m able to focus a bit – it all comes back, even if I’m a little bit rusty, a little bit out of shape.
During our travels, I ran across a parking lot, crossing quickly to get a bathroom break before feeding the baby. My first lumbering strides felt awkward, but after a moment, it clicked. My gait corrected itself, the rhythm became right. I felt fantastic – if winded – when I reached the door. I miss running, moving.
I miss the quick confidence in the kitchen, the ease with which I used to spend time on my feet, stirring and chopping and mixing. But it’s there, just below the surface. It’s there. I just have to keep at it, click the wheels onto the rails. I have to run a little and find my stride.