60 Pies

Small things. Everyday acts that become simple rituals helping me to find peace and setting the tone and rhythm of my day. I love them.

There’s a flow to my morning. You probably have your own series of things you do. Here’s part of my morning rituals.

I pull myself out of bed, put a smile on my face no matter how hard that is to do, turn on music that is sometimes quiet and reflective, sometimes active and bright, open the curtains and let the light pour in.  Dog and cat out the door next after some scritch-scratching around and behind their ears. Tea is next. After it is made and poured steaming into my “love mug” (it’s pink and has a heart on it), I sit down at the big round wooden table that I teach on and check email on my laptop.

Yesterday morning when I got up though, I was pretty exhausted. In fact, I felt downright wiped out.

I see myself as a positive person who has come through some challenging times (i.e. life lessons) as we all do and I am determined to not fall into the “poor pity me” mire that we visit at times in our lives. But, something happened several days ago that made my heart sink. I could just feel the energy getting sucked right out of me. Tears welled up in my eyes and sleep was hard to come by and fitful at best. By the morning, I was feeling the results of unrest. Plus, I could feel that the big dark pit of self-pity was looming close by and I did NOT want to come anywhere near it.

So what to do to move away from it safely and quickly? I continued on as I try to every morning with a smile. When I opened my email up, I found an unexpected message from Rex, a former student from over one year ago. He sent me something that would make any teacher smile. His words immediately moved me back into the light.

I asked him if I could share them with you, and with his permission, here they are:

“Last year on 10-10-10 I turned 60 years old. Since that seemed such an auspicious date and age, I decided that I would celebrate 60 years of life by making 60 pies before my next birthday rolled around. As the ‘sizzle-whump’ of pie number 60 announced that it was ready to come out of the oven yesterday, I found myself experiencing a certain joy and a lot of reflection.

Over the year there have been pies of celebration, pies of grief and all sorts of pies in between– each one with their own unique story to tell. They have offered the opportunity to enter into community and learning in ways I never would have thought possible. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked out the window to see a pie plate returning home filled with something warm and gracious.

The comment I have received more times than any other has been – ‘Wow this pie is great – AND the crust is beyond great – how did you learn to do that?’ And that’s when I tell them about my pie mentor Kate and the remarkable experience that it was to sit in her presence and learn all about the gifts that come from making pie. Thanks Kate!”

Congratulations on your 60 pies, Rex. Here’s to 60 more!

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  1. says

    Lovely post Kate. I too can relate so much to everything that you have said and I work so hard at being present in this moment in order to stay fresh and positive. It is really beautiful when your work comes back to you in the way that you describe above, as something so happy as 60 pies :)

  2. says

    A beautiful post Kate. I like the idea of rex’s pie baking project. Morning rituals are unique to each of us, but pulling back the curtains to let the light in is a favourite of mine also.

  3. says

    What a beautiful, perfect post. As my husband battles with his own demons as we attempt to recreate our life and start over, I try and keep the optimism going in the family, keeping people happy and laughing. It is not always easy but as you say, I truly think happiness is indeed a state of mind that we decide upon and create ourselves. I also go into the kitchen and bake when I am happy, stressed, sad, or just need to think. It is magical. I admire Rex for his wonderful project and how happy to give and then allow others to give back…sharing and community. Thanks for a perfect post, Kate.

  4. says

    The older I get, the more I realize and come to understand that happiness is a state of mind that we create ourselves. Sometimes it is buoyant and bright; other times calm and content. Thank you for your words.

  5. says

    Wonderful post, thank you for sharing. In some of my darkest moments, when despair was looming just ahead, there has been this small quiet voice (my Grandmother’s I think), and it says the same thing every time: Bake cookies. It sounds ridiculous to the rational mind, but I obey, and soon I am touching the flour, smelling vanilla and chocolate, feeling the heat of the oven and the dough in my hands. My life is centered once again in the present, the only place we ever really live. And then a slow realization dawns: I am happy.

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