It's early summer and the roses in my yard are in riotous, glorious bloom — almost surreal in their scent and color. The other day the lusty, deep-pink ones were at their absolute peak; when I touched them the petals just fell away. So I brought a few handfuls into the house and left them to dry on my kitchen table, spread out on a plate. No fussy prep here, just a scattering of petals and the gentle summertime air. And time.
When I pass by the table, their bright color snags my attention and I go over to shake the plate a little. Their scent is still powerful, almost mesmerizing, and I immediately begin dreaming of scattering roses over baked chicken or stirring them into rice. The rose petals are not sustenance by any measure; at best they are a subtle flavoring, a garnish. But their beauty is potent, concentrated, complete — it fills me up in places I didn't know needed filling.
It can be this simple in the kitchen sometimes, the effort this small: a handful of rose petals left out on the table to dry. The impulse to do this is born of appreciation and responsiveness. There's a desire to anchor a moment just long enough so I can really take it in, so I can breathe deep of it and find a sweet, uncomplicated kind of contentment. So that I can remember that once in a while, it really can can be this easy.
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