I was still living at home when Mom gave me an unusual gift for one birthday; a large well-used aluminum bowl. She told me that it was in this bowl that she had made her first batch of brownies.
I loved the bowl for its history, and to this day I use it for making Dad’s favorite chocolate chip cookies, and many other things. It could be my imagination, but anything I’ve ever made in that bowl always seems to taste better; cookies, coleslaw, brownies, salads, meatloaf, etc.
Sometimes objects have the ability to take us back in time, as this bowl does for me. While using it, I picture my mom making that first batch of brownies, how she looked at the time, and what her thoughts and dreams were. Whenever I use it, I feel happy and close to Mom.
It is said that objects carry their own energy within them. This especially goes for artist-made objects. While I appreciate being the beneficiary of good artistic energy, some don’t care for it. In that case, it’s easy to fix. Say you bought a gold ring from an artist whom you didn’t care for personally, but you loved his designs.
To cleanse the ring, place it on top of a small dish of sea salt for at least a day. Or you can leave it out the light of a full moon. Frankly, it’s much easier to use the sea salt method; that way you don’t need to wait around for a full moon.
So what do sea salt and the moon have to do with artistic energy? They both act as “cleansers” to remove the artist’s energy from the object that they made. This way you start off fresh with your artisan item, which will now fill itself with your energy.
But getting back to Mom’s magic bowl and all such precious and treasured objects passed down from generations before—old and battered they may be. Dented and plain they may be.
Used and touched by so many hands, and filled with the ghosts of all manner of delicious foods, these objects become part of our *lares and penates. We take them with us wherever we go, and they become part of our own family lore.
This old aluminum bowl is precious to me for its history, and for the love in which it was given. I like to think sometimes of all the treasures from so many people who have handed them down to their children, then those children’s children, and so on.
I hope that someday I may pass this precious and well-loved bowl on to one of my granddaughters; perhaps one or both of them will find joy in preparing food for themselves and their families.
But most of all I hope that they treasure their own history. Through circumstances I could never have imagined, I have been lucky enough to find myself in an **ohana with these two little girls and their mom and dad. Not only will I leave them with my never-ending love, but also all the things that ever mattered to me, including that aluminum bowl.
I will make sure that they know its history, and what it meant to me. I will leave it in their capable hands, knowing that the bowl contains both history and love; both of which they need.
Don’t we all?
* From wordsmith.org/words/lares_and_penates.html: