A few weeks ago, I realized that my there was no clear path out of my garage because it was blocked by a dresser that used to belong to my Dad. For a moment I considered where I could move it to as it was a nice dresser and I “should” probably keep it. Then a thought come over me… and it went something like this, “Are you worried that you might need a dresser (in the future), and I won’t provide one?” Immediately I felt foolish for wanting to hang onto something that I really didn’t need. Within five minutes, my neighbors helped me carry the dresser to the curb, and the very moment we set it down, a couple walked by and offered me some money for it.
Then one cool morning, about a week later, I passed a homeless man as I went into Starbucks. I ordered a small coffee and then looked at the display case, remembered the man, and added a breakfast sandwich. Outside, the man was peering into his coffee cup as I walked up to him and waited for him to look up. When he did, he seemed a bit startled to see someone standing in front of him and acted as if he was expecting me to chastise him. Instead, I asked, “Would you like a biscuit with bacon?” He was utterly surprised and he almost moaned with delight as he said, “Oh God.” After I handed it to him, I wished him a good day and left. As I walked away, I thought, “It really was God, wasn’t it?”
Spaghetti Pie with Bacon and Peppers for Bill
Images, memories, and voices sprang into my head so often during the year that I gave away pies that sometimes I thought something was wrong if I didn’t feel “moved by the spirit” or “inspired” or “insert your own word for it here.” On those occasions, I just did my best to make a pretty pie, show up, and hope for the best. And often, the best did happen – the recipient was genuinely happy for being honored in such a way.
Mushroom and Pepper Quiche for my physical therapist, Heather
It’s been more than four years since I began giving away pies, and while I’ve slowed down quite a bit from making a pie a day to making one every week or so, I truly hope that I can continue to listen to those voices in my head and continue to feel the tugs at my heart. This project has been a wonderful journey and I hope to be baking pies… and sharing “pie” stories for a long time to come.
Spaghetti Pie with Spinach and Caramelized Onions for Ellie
I’d like to close with one of my favorite poems by Emily Dickenson.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin,
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.