We have heard the saying. “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” I must say, I love this saying. For me it holds so much truth.
Let’s start with the heat. Who really likes the type of heat they are talking about here? They are not implying the cozy heat of a fire pit. Nor the heat we find under the covers with our loved one. They are talking about that heat you can’t get away from. That heat that takes up your whole body and makes you sweat. Life has given me a lot of heat. I have cried deep tears filled with pain and anger. I am sure most of us have. We have all felt that moment where we just want to run. Run from the pain of childhood, the responsibility of parenthood, the frustration of a friendship and the ugly pain that marriage can bring us. The heat makes brings us to a point of forgetting all that is good. We get so hot, angry and afraid anything that is good is outside of the proverbial kitchen. We don’t remember what it felt like to feel content, joy and even hope.
But the saying doesn’t stop there. It is very clear. If you can’t stand the heat, you must leave the kitchen. And what does that hold? For me, kitchen has everything good. The kitchen holds life. I create in the kitchen. I make sweet treats for my family and friends. The kitchen is where my girlfriends and I share a glass… or bottle… of wine and talk, laugh and cry. The kitchen holds a storehouse of food.
If life is there, is this a place I want to leave? Is the heat worth it?
I would love to shout a confident yes. I would love to say that when life gets hard and too hot to handle, I see all the good and do not mind the heat. The fact is, I hate the heat. I hate the moments that make me sweat… the moments that make everything in me feel weak and terrified. However, I know that if I run and give up on the scary and difficult moments, then I will miss out on the life giving moments. I have tasted and seen the fruit of my labor. I have worked through the weakness, the fear and the pain and have seen it turn into strength, courage and joy.
The heat, well that sucks. But everything that is yummy and topped with frosting… that comes out of the kitchen. I guess I am not leaving.