This bowl of all bowls
From the earth-woman-fire kiln of Lyla, this bowl comes to me
with a blessing; a ceramic blue circle of sparkling glaze made
partly with a dash of Whidbey Island soil. The bowl includes a
happy pattern of white circus swirls over swaths of blue and gold.
I’m no poet. I’m no holy word stringer who can sing this object
beyond its already beauty. I can only put it down here in my
kitchen, find fruit for it, fill it with garlic-laced spaghetti or
rosemary chicken; or with muffins still hot and soft, their orange
cardamom redolence luring my family down from ivory towers.
Though its dip is shallow, my visitor bowl goes deep and holds
histories of bananas and summer peaches, stories of bread and
cheese, the poetry of buttery corn on the cob, the oft-told tale of
nourishment around a table made from the sweaty dedication
Families, friends, neighbors, farmers, here is our bowl of all bowls,
sit down and eat. Here is our “Everyman and Everywoman Bowl,”
where its memories and its future holds the stuff of Thanksgiving
feasts and Christmas breakfasts and the tricky stickiness of
Halloween treats; where small hands will plunge for the sweetness
of a mother’s just-baked cookies, or into which a grandfather will
gently place his plumpest tomatoes picked from his backyard garden.
—Patricia Duff, 2013
for the Six Bowls Project, Whidbey Island