Yesterday I walked into Schakolad Birmingham Chocolate for a client meeting and saw beautiful chocolate records on the shelf, which sent me hurtling down memory lane.
For my bat mitzvah in 1984, we themed the party around music, with 45’s emblazoned with the name of a musical performing act in metallic marker identifying tables high above the centerpieces. Everything had to do with music, and so my mother decided to make chocolate records for favors.
I remember Mom, my aunts and Mom’s friends in our kitchen, melting chocolate and pouring the velvety result into molds the size and shape and texture of 45’s. Our refrigerator shelves held plastic molds on every level, which, when hardened, found their way into a cardboard box exactly the right size and with stickers claiming Lynne’s Bat Mitzvah.
How creative we were back then. And we were not such a crafty family!
But the idea of a ritual and a celebration steeped in tradition with certain modern touches was exactly what made my coming-of-age so special.
This was before the days of full-blown over-the-top pre-teen parties. I want to say times were simpler, except there are challenges in every era.
I still believe that simpler is better, in every situation. Less wrapping, less hoopla, more integrity.
When we simplify, we have the time and space to notice. This morning, I got to work as the sun was rising and I stepped out of the car into the silence and noticed the beauty of the blue sky. The air was not entirely freezing; I breathed in deeply and felt charged.
The clouds beckoned. The morning was a jewel. And the fact of the silence and the lack of passing traffic, the empty parking lot, the quiet magnified the vision and the poetry before me.
That’s what you get when you cut away the extras: beauty, plain and simple.
There’s really no need in most cases to overdo. Just enough, the essentials, that’s the foundation of a good life.