"It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength,
and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much,
and what is done in love is well done."
There was a list of things- some written, and some only remembered- of all I wished to accomplish before I turned 30. Lofty goals and hopeful suggestions of the girl- the woman, I suppose- I would become when the calendar reads September 18th and my twenties fade out like the porch light at dawn. I don't think I have reached any of them.
But today, I baked a pie.
I'm still six classes away from earning a degree.
But I measured, tapped, and swirled the flour, salt, and baking powder together, a cloud of white dust in a white bowl.
I'm hopeless when it comes to reading music well or learning aperture and shutter speeds, and I'm still very far from the trip to England I've dreamed of since I was little.
But I cut in the chilled shortening and dribbled the ice water into the crumbs, just how my mama advised.
Sky and I have such a long way to go before happiness.
But I looped the apron over my neck and tied it around my waist. I sprinkled the soft flour over the table, then smoothed it around the wooden rolling pin. I slowly poured the cherries tumbling into a patchwork crust, covered them with the other crust, and made a wavy zig-zag around the edge with my thumb and finger. I used a fork to make tiny holes like I was perforating a dark sky with shining, scattered stars. I closed the hot oven door, and opened it fifty minutes later to a yellowed, crumbly, sweet-smelling pie.
I can't cut hair, change a flat tire on the side of the road, start a lawnmower or weed eater without thinking bad words, pick out a pair of glasses I like longer than a week, fold fitted sheets, make an efficient grocery store trip without running through the aisles for something forgotten, or learn how to let go of past hurts.
But I can sew up tears in treasured stuffed animals, and pull the weight of a red wagon and two babies behind me. I can make imperfect birthday cakes, kiss sore knees, and exclaim bright praises of finger paint pictures. I can brush hair into curly pigtails, read library books twenty times over, and find pacifiers that were tossed behind cribs. I can buy a tablecloth and candles for his party and only cry a few tears, and I can assure her that it's her turn next and she'll have presents, too. I can weigh the dreams I have with what is truly important, and let a few of them flutter away, while holding on to the ones I value and will remember when I am eighty five and reliving these precious days.
And I can bake a pie.