Dear Kitchen, How Do I Love Thee?

This Valentine’s day, let me count the ways..

I love you for your life-giving purpose I sometimes forget to savour, until I see another bereft of basic bread.

I love you for your constancy; your willingness to bear my mess, my dump of the day’s load, and hold my indecision until I learn to let it go.

And for your willingness to be cleaned up without complaint, to have your face washed, your nails scrubbed and wear your heart on your sleeve, as hope wafts from within you.

I love you for your inclusiveness to strangers and friends alike, to labour unnoticed and forgotten as we linger over a delicious meal you helped create.

I love you for your forgiveness as my children spill and splatter, and your patience as they shriek running circles through your midst, and later as teens, your tolerance as they keep you up well past your time of rest to concoct midnight snacks.

You were my aspiration of pride and joy to get a makeover and have your surfaces gleaming new, but I recognize in my heart that you care less for superficial beauty, than supporting our deepest values and family treasures.

You really do aspire to daily laughter and happiness in your midst - to experience life with us as we tend our babies, teach our teens, and quietly appreciate our blessings. As we smell and sip and scrub and smooth and feel truly alive while we hum and smile anew.

As our young birds fly the nest, I see in your reflection faithfulness despite feeling unrecognized and under appreciated. Today, I feel older and wiser, and deep gratitude for the space you hold in our home and in my heart.

And so I love thee, my quiet kitchen. You hold memories of us all.

- Shelly xoxoxo