yesterday we canned and it was a comedy of errors. for something so simple in theory there is so much margin for error. lids screwed too tight, jars filled too high, gigantic stockpots just not quite deep enough. who knew that a vegetable steamer doubled as a canning rack? we collapsed on the couch at eight after soothing enchiladas with our jars lined up in a row, filled with hope. wonder of all wonders, all but two sealed. there will be brilliantly colored peppers and spicy sweet apples this winter and sometimes i am quite sure that i was born in the wrong part of the last century.

there are times when i miss those firework sparks, burned down now to warm embers. but i think in the end i would rather get my burn from a steam-filled kitchen with tandem hands and many kisses than from playing with fire. i’m just not that type of girl.

maybe i have a split personality and the murmurs around me have mentioned as much. but i have a longing to go home to my grandfather’s kitchen to stay, where the sumac turns orange in the fall and the fields die gold and there is a greater quiet. i never thought i would want to go home but i didn’t find any joy in that glamorous newbury street job and the things that bring me happiness are low ceilings and attics that smell of old things. the blackstone valley wears a shroud of fog each morning and i feel lucky to live here, even if it isn’t home. karla talks quietly about california sometimes and i know there is something to all of this.

i missed it in here, where i’m allowed to speak in tongues. i think i will settle down and stay for a while.