Cookies are the Meaning of Life

cookies to make meaning with

More of My Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies, which is easily the most popular recipe on this blog.  I am not above repeats--zero need to be novel here.  I remember reading in one of Ina Garten's cookbooks that she's made the same things hundreds of times, and takes such comfort in knowing how they'll turn out.  I feel that way about these.  I took them to our kick-off Community Consulting Partnership meeting tonight and enjoying seeing people fight over them.

In completely unrelated news, I had what NPR calls a "driveway moment," yesterday, and of course it's going to show up here. I was listening to KUOW and pulling into Office Depot's parking lot to buy exciting things like notebooks and notebook dividers. Then I sat in the parking lot transfixed.  The short story is:

Birdwatchers consider Seattle's Union Bay Natural Area one of the best birdwatching sites in Seattle. But for more than 40 years, the place was a garbage dump. Now, the former landfill has ponds, meadows and woodland areas that attract over 250 species of birds. People used to call the area Garbage Bay and birders mostly call it the Montlake Fill. Writer Connie Sidles has been coming to the Fill almost every morning for 20 years. KUOW's Jeannie Yandel walked around the Fill with Connie to find out what she's learned about life from the wildlife there.  You can listen to the whole conversation here.  It's worth listening to if you're at work and trying to avoid actually doing any work.

Connie talked about finding comfort at the Fill after a tragedy in her family.  She realized the shorebirds' migration from Mexico to Alaska each year had no point.  They made their arduous trek, some of them dying on the way, just to lay their eggs, then turned right around and flew all the way back, stopping in the Puget Sound for a little rest and nourishment mid-journey. And she realized that, if she were to ask, "What's the point?" in the face of tragedy, she'd come up empty-handed.  There is no point.  But if she asked, "What's the meaning?"--well, that's a whole other question entirely.

I sat in the parking lot and cried.  Cried for all the beauty that goes unnoticed, for all of us that can't or don't find the meaning in our lives, for all the things that are totally and completely unfair about this life and world. More than that, though, I cried because, wondrously, on most days, even if I don't see the point, I DO see the meaning, and it's too poignant to bear sometimes.  True-- I haven't had extreme loss or tragedy in my life yet, and I'm sure there will be days when I will absolutely hate this shorebird story.  But yesterday I loved it, and I love sharing it with you even more.

Back to the cookies, just so I can still say this is a food blog.  They definitely bring meaning to my life. Don't ask me how.  They just do.