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.