Cooking grounded her, rooted her, in the same way gardening did. And Ben. And the kids. She caught the spray of citrus mixing with the aroma of fresh coffee, and moved more briskly as she began to set the table.
She filled a few ramekins with jams and sour cream, and poured maple syrup into a small beaker. Then she took out a bowl and filled it with strawberries and blueberries. She looked at the table and wanted it to be fuller, richer. She lifted the bright pink kalanchoe from the window shelves, and set it on the table. Too bad the kids weren’t there to enjoy it. Clara would love the way the flowering plant matched the quilted placemats. And Michael would appreciate the mound of French toast dusted with powdered sugar; he had his father’s love of big breakfasts.
With one hand on the counter, she gazed at the table, secure now in the routines of her kitchen, of good food, of color and light, a prettily laid table. She leaned her head to one side and studied the setting as if it were a painting, and briefly imagined herself sitting at the table, wearing a long kimono-like robe – peacock blue, or perhaps a pattern in pinks and orange.
She glanced down at her sweat pants and t-shirt. Well, they were more practical for cooking, she told herself. Still, she wished she blended more with the arrangement – the one of the table, as well as the one in her head.
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