In the morning, I swirled white-whole-wheat flour in the Cuisinart with yeast, warm water, salt, olive oil and rosemary. Pressed the button, Shaya standing on a chair beside me, bouncing on his sock-toed feet as the noise overtook the kitchen.

I waited for the moment of clarity, when the ingredients came together into dough, clumpy enough to clean the inside of the bowl. Lid off, I pulled the tacky clump and plopped it into a bowl to sit the day and grow.

That night, the kids and I gathered around the counter. Each of us pressed our fingertips into the dough, stretching it round on the baking stones, then smearing pizza sauce and sprinkling cheese and chopped olives onto our own creations.

It baked up puffy and crisp, cheese an orange bubbling sea.

Every chop a moment, every slice a sort of manna. From disparate ingredients to a whole something, we created a simple meal: pizza, salad, sweet corn cobs and green beans to dip in hummus.

All things good from the earth and bounty. Flavors and scents, sensory touches all around, until at last, the sun had set into the darkness that started the day and we were all tired in the upper rooms.

I laid in bed beside each child for a quiet time of connection. A few words, sloppy hugs and close-to-the-ear kisses. Those moments precious and fleeting.

Every night, Eliana creeps into bed beside me, no words spoken, just a desire for closeness. Last Sunday night, back from Boston, the house silent in their absence, I missed the presence of another warm body.

And then Monday came and they returned home to me, and I to them.

Tonight, different ingredients into completeness. Tonight, all of us around the table, different words, same goal. Tonight, another chance for love.


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