I’m toasting hazelnuts and watching the rain fall from an overcast sky outside the dining room windows. The promise of a smooth chocolate spread made with the decadent filberts has made this dark afternoon spent indoors more tolerable. The weather has been inclement for the greater part of a week now, and with the damp comes a general pensiveness on my part. Cooking grounds me. The nutty scent emanating from the oven shifts my focus back to the present, but it also envelops me in an all around feeling of love as I’m reminded of mornings at Titi’s house, where she stands in front of the stove warming up milk for café con leche.
The dishwasher grinds on in the background, but beyond the mechanical hum there is a silence that seeps into my bones and brings me the deepest sense of wellbeing, and I could crawl into bed with the blankets pulled up to my chin and lie in it for a very long while. For now, the hazelnuts cool on the countertop, waiting for me to slip them out of their skins with a rough rub in a dishtowel.
I’m reading Mette Jakobsen’s The Vanishing Act. My good friend Kim came for a visit this week and brought the book with her as one of many thoughtful gifts. Though I have only started to read it, I already resonate with the story so much. Jakobsen’s island with its spectacular sea and few inhabitants is an evocative place, one I step into easily. Also, I haven’t met a dog with as much personality since Sammy Davis Jr., Jr. in Everything is Illuminated. No-Name is just as quirky in his particular fondness of orange cake, church, and longing looks into space. I will finish cleaning the filberts of their crisped skins now, so that I may still enjoy another moment to read before my daughter wakes up.