I have a favorite spoon.
It’s modest, even shorter than the others inhabiting the small spoon section of the silverware drawer. Its top is round, not quite a perfect circle but close enough to remind me of one each time I view it, and it’s a silver color that dons both shine and wear.
It’s different from the other spoons. The others come to a rounded point, shaped like the profile view of an egg. The styles of the handles vary, some showing a floral print and others with simple distinct lines.
And yet, even with the diversity of the spoons, my favorite one stands apart. The roundness of its top and the contour of its bowl fits perfectly into my mouth, without hitting my teeth or causing my lips to uncomfortably purse. It holds just the right amount of food, or liquid, or baking soda for homemade cookies.
I normally save this spoon. When it comes up on top of the pile, I’ll look at it longingly, and then pick another spoon, saving my favorite one for another time. Maybe for a fancier meal. Or after a hard day.
This morning, I needed a spoon to scoop minced garlic out of a jar. I opened the drawer and was promptly greeted by [what felt like] a smile from this tiny, sturdy spoon.
But I only need you for one scoop of minced garlic. That seems like such a waste… Like I should wait for a bowl of cereal, so we can really enjoy our time together.
Plus, using it now would mean placing it in the dishwasher, which my brother must’ve emptied at some point during the night, even though it felt like it was my turn… Which would result in another few days without this spoon.
And all for what? A 5 second scoop and dollop?
Yes, it said.
I picked it up, admiring how perfectly it fit into my hand, wondering how it even got into the mix of silverware. Realizing that there was a time when I didn’t notice such wonderful details as a good spoon.
And with pure presence, an empty mind, and wearing nothing on my face aside from a slight curvature on the corners of my mouth, I used my favorite spoon.
Just one, simple, deliberate dollop.
I took my time with it, conscious of each subtle movement. Something simple to outsiders has become precious to me. And, rather than fight it or push aside these sweet, tender feelings of gratitude and fondness, I allowed myself to fully be there.
I used the back end of it to spread the minced garlic with olive oil on the pan my brother got me two Christmases ago. He told me to never put the pan in the dishwasher, and to only hand wash it, gently, and to rub oil into it for it to remain in good condition. I’ve followed this rule with a deep conviction, as if the very relationship with my brother depends on my treating this special pan with the respect it deserves.
There have been a few times where another person helped out by doing my dishes, and forgot about the special care of this pan. They put it in the dishwasher, with high heat and a heavy wash cycle.
Each time I opened the dishwasher to find it incorrectly placed, my heart dropped while my face smiled, thanking the person for their help.
I’d pull the pan out first, checking it all over, being sure it hadn’t been ruined. Hoping it hadn’t been ruined. Wondering if my brother will be able to tell that it’s been accidentally washed on now three separate occasions, but knowing that he likely wouldn’t notice or find it to be a big deal.
It is a big deal to me. This pan. This spoon. The appreciation I put into each can be tasted in the food I cook, even when I burn the outer edges of the kale by having the burner on too high.
I spent this morning meditating, praying, doing candlelit yoga. And yet, the most effective form of self-love I offered myself today was the allowance to use my favorite spoon, just because.
Just because is a good enough reason sometimes, it seems.