Another room in the 'House that smiled at me'!
Can a kitchen be inspiring? Can it hold drama? Can it wrap you in a cloak of warmth, of soft light, of smells and odours, aroma's? Can a kitchen be so much more then just a place to cook, to wash dishes, to make you a cup of tea or coffee? Can it be the centrefold of the house? The heart of the house, the intellectual centre of the house, the very soul of the house? Yes!
The kitchen of that house in the middle of that somewhat wild garden, in a nice green neighbourhood of a small ordinary town in Rockland County, was, is!
If the walls could speak I know they would tell me stories enough to fill the pages of a very voluminous book. They would tell about the people, the children growing up, the laughter and the joy, as well as the pain and the scars, the grieve, the fights, the humiliation and the pride. There would be enough drama, comedy and tragedy all together to make more then one wonderful opening night on Broadway.
Some stories are nice to be told, for others it's best they remain safely stored in the warehouse of each and every ones life,as we all prefer to keep some secrets, well hidden behind the steel door of our memories chamber.
As a cherished visitor, a short time member of the household, I wanted to absorb the sphere of this place, for I promised myself that, whether I would return or not, I would never ever forget.
The kitchen had something of that 'ol' grandma's' charm. The smell of fresh fruit and cinnamon. The color something pinkish, creating intimacy. In the morning quietness when all the rest of the house was still sleeping, I loved to make myself an early, light breakfast, sitting at the table, reading the newspaper, listening to all the small noices, sipping my green tea, the dog's head on my lap.
Sometimes I started to hum, simply feeling happy, and then the dog also made little sounds as if wanting to sing in close harmony with me. Sheba she was called, what a name, what a dog, what a story of pain and mistreatment and abuse and now love. Finally she was treated with all the gentleness any living creature deserves, surrounded by people who loved her. So did I from the first moment I saw her, she must have felt it with that special sensor animals do have, for after a day we were the best of mates. There were moments we were looking at each other, me wandering what would be going on in her mind. She staring at me with all the wisdom of the world in those beautiful black, moist eyes. Sheba, queen amongst dogs, it was a pleasure to meet you.
Oh yes, and then, most important of all, there was the table. A round table. Certainly not the one from the 'Knights of King Arthur', but with an equal importance to the people living in the little 'Queendom' of this house!
Always clean, never empty, never cleared. I'm smiling when writing this, for behind my back in my own kitchen back home is...exactly the same table, round, always clean but never empty, never cleared! No matter how much I do try, there are always letters, papers, magazines, books finishing their short or long destiny on that table.
It gives these 'common kitchen tables' something 'magic'! Does that sound weird? Because, without even moving one inch, it donates them with some kind of dynamic, vivid 'lifestyle'...?!
People are standing by it, sitting at it or on it, leaning over it or on it.
Taking a slow breakfast, a quick lunch, relax by it with a cup of something, have dinner (during my stay it was mostly just the two of us). Talking things over, planning the next day with a huge bowl of ice cream in front of us. Just enjoying each others company, closing the gap of the years that had passed by, connecting with the here and the now, and what our life's had become in between. The way we had grown into the bold, daring, strong warrior-women sistah's we were today. Wearing the white of our hair as a crown of pride, and knowing the difference in skin color wasn't interfering with our heart and soul frequency. Bright moments to keep within the shelter of our hearts as an eternal smile.Moments to be grateful for.
As I practically always was the last one that went to bed, I was the one that dimmed the light, offering her the quiet and the rest she deserved.
' Good night kitchen': I used to whisper, 'see you back in the mornin'!