Come Have Cake in Ohio!

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I registered for Barbara Dewey’s Waldorf Homeschool Teacher Training this past weekend. It is held at Taproot Farm in Ohio, and I consider it my annual retreat. This will be my third year in attendance, and I love the sense of community I have found there. Jean, Alison, Siobhan, Kelley and of course, Andrea all made last year special. I’ll be bringing a certain cake I have blogged about before, and I would love to share a piece with you. And if cake isn’t your thing, don’t worry, Alison and Andrea will have wine!! Won’t you join us?

***

My Dearest Alisha,

There is a secret I have kept from you for almost a year now. I think about it from time to time and my emotions range from slightly embarrassed to completely remorseful. I don’t know why I didn’t say anything then, but like most regrets this one has both haunted me and taught me a lesson or two. It was really a small thing, something I might not have even given a second thought at a different point in my life. But for some reason this regret has stayed with me. It has changed me. You were the first subscriber to my blog, so I thought it somehow fitting to confess to you here:

I had an entire chocolate cake, in my car, the whole time we were at Taproot.

Yes, a whole homemade chocolate cake. And I didn’t tell you or share it or eat any of it myself. Even when you were ranting about the fact that there wasn’t a cookie to be found on the whole 100 acres! (I actually think you were starting to twitch at that point from lack of sugar.) I knew that cake was in my car, but I didn’t say anything. I kept quiet by telling myself different things: “It’s probably stale.” “Vincent made it. It’s a new recipe. It might not even be good.” “It probably got crushed during the trip and is just a mess of crumbs.” But you know what? It wasn’t any of those things. Can I tell you? It was one of the best cakes I have ever eaten – moist, sweet, and oh-so-chocolatey.

In an effort to keep myself awake on the drive home from Ohio to North Carolina, I busted into that cake somewhere in West Virginia. Regret washed over me as soon as I took that first bite. I knew I had missed a chance. I still can’t put my finger on what exactly I think I missed. I felt like we connected almost instantly – as they say, we laughed, we cried . . . and yet, when I picture us sharing that cake, giggling like girls, it is a memory that could have been and because of my reticence never was.

You know some of the story of the months after Taproot: my friend’s cancer diagnosis, another friend’s sudden death. In my mind those events are intertwined with the uncut cake. Missed opportunity, holding back, fear, regret. Yes, it is all of those things mixed together, but if I am being completely honest, it’s also about letting myself be vulnerable. It’s about being known. It’s about being seen. The dark days of December 2011 led me to the light of a new year with one resolution: share the cake. The manifestations of stepping into this place of voluntary vulnerability have been both simple and profound: Writing more. Reading more. Crying more. Laughing more. Sharing so, so much more: flowers, words, time, books and yes, cake. These days, I try to share a lot of cake.

Thank you, my friend, for being who you are and helping me become more of who I want to be. And, the next time we see each other, I promise I’ll share the cake.

***

PS Alisha and her family came for a visit a couple of weeks ago. We finally did share that cake and picked up our friendship right where we left off. I’ll tell you, Taproot is a special place. Cake just makes it a little bit sweeter.

***

Click the images below to read more about Taproot.

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21 thoughts on “Come Have Cake in Ohio!

      • First of all, thank you for the shout out for Taproot and for my talk in your listening post. Your sweet support means a lot. Secondly, this story of the cake is so touching, it works the magic of a fairytale in the soul. Thank you to you, Andrea, Siobhan, Jean and Kelley for helping me be brave enough and vulnerable enough to share my cake this year. Mine didn’t quite make it out of the car last year at Taproot either. But this year with my Ladytown ladies there encouraging me, oh, it will… and so will the wine … I might really take a leap and pop the cork on some champagne. So hope to meet you there Alisha.
        Alison :)

  1. Sheila, What a sweet story! I’m glad you shared it. The people I met and the things I learned at Taproot have had a wonderful impact on my entire year. I look forward to seeing you ladies again this summer.

  2. Oh my goodness. This is the most lovely piece of writing. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. Alison told me about Taproot, and it sounds so so so wonderful. I think Snarf is still too young to leave, but I am really looking forward to next year. I know you all will have so much fun. And now I am craving chocolate cake….

  3. Ooooohhhhhh, I want to go so badly. But, I don’t think this year is in the cards for me. I’m still nursing, and I don’t think my impossible-to-keep-in-one-place toddler would allow me to learn much actually! However, I did already mention it to my husband, so save me a piece next year!

    • Will do!!

      Did you get my email last week? I was thinking maybe the one associated with your WP comments isn’t your preferred account. Anyway, just checking.

      Hope you guys had a great weekend.

      • Ack! No, I didn’t! I just checked my spam, and it’s not there. This email addy is the one I always use — can you resend? I would love to hear from you!

        • Hmmm . . . I’ll find it and send it again. If you don’t receive it today, email me at slpetruccelli at charter dot net and then I’ll just reply.

          • Okay, I emailed you last night. I, by no means, expect an immediate response, but did you get it? I’m so weirded out with my email now!

            • Oh, my lord, I have not received it. What on earth????? I am so, so puzzled by this! I’m sure you’re sick of me by now, but let’s try a different email address for me: paucie21 @ me dot com. I keep checking my spam, and it’s not there . . . I really have no idea what is going on. But I’m sorry to keep pestering you!

              (Is this some kind of scheme by the USPS?) ;-)

  4. This post was an important idea the first time I read it. Now, a year or so later, I am again reminding myself to Share the Cake. Important. But sometimes hard.

    • I know what you mean.

      I post these things bc I need the reminders myself.

      Formulating a response to your 100 Things post – it has me thinking.

      • Ohhh, I didn’t want to beg or anything like that, but in my mind I was saying, “Please, please, please Sheila, share a 100 Thing list with me!!!” (: Happy happy.

  5. Wow. This is so poignant and beautifully written! It brings tears to my eyes. Sharing the cake and voluntary vulnerability, knowing and being known…a similar journey of striving and longing for a reticent gal like me too.

    Looking forward to seeing you this summer!
    xo
    Siobhan

    • It is a true story and the impetus as to why I barraged you and Caroline on the trail at Taproot that day. I remember saying something eloquent like, “Hey, I want to hang out with you guys.” LOL

      And I am so glad I did! Your friendship is such a gem to me. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!

      xo,
      S

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