When I was a little girl, there was table in my grandmother’s kitchen with legs that stuck out at an angle. I asked her, “Don’t they get in the way?” “Of what?” she asked. I was almost embarrassed for her, “Well, the dancing, of course.”
My mother taught me that our kitchen was made for dancing. We didn’t cook together. (or separately). We did dance though. She began, with the “slow, quick-quick…slow, quick-quick.” Then eased into “1,2,3 waltz,” and the “step, place, three, cha-cha.” We did it all. I suppose as regularly as people made meals. Each day she placed the tape inside the boombox. Frank Sinatra. Tony Bennett. Dean Martin. We were part of the “pack” and we danced.
Through the years I have taught myself how to cook. And now, when returning home, I cook the meals for my mom. She apologized recently, wishing she had taught me how to cook. Why???????? “You taught me everything I needed to know,” I said, and meant it.
Everything I needed to survive I learned in that kitchen. I was given the courage to follow, to trust, when I didn’t know the way. I was given the strength to lead with compassion and joy, when it was my turn. My heart was filled. My soul was nourished.
So if you ask me today, if I have any advice for you in the kitchen, I will always reply, “Dance more.”