The Vessel

by Kim Merritt

IMG_0829I was so excited to be a part of the Six Bowl Project.I went to Casey Crafts and picked up the bowl on Wednesday, February 5. The way the bowl was tucked into the beautiful basket with a leather handle, the way the bowl was nestled in between the brown colored shredded, crinkled paper…the bowl was so protected and safe and I was filled with warmth and joy just carrying it to the car.When I got it home, I had originally hoped to have a small get together with my friends and share the bowl with them, because my friends protect me and keep me safe, just like this bowl holds and protects its contents…but I wasn’t able to pull that off. I also wanted to share it with my family. We have lots of birthdays in February (5), but only 3 of us who have February birthdays live here on Whidbey. I decided I would use the bowl to prepare part of the shared birthday dinner and also serve from it…once again I wasn’t able to pull that off. But what did happen was magical.
IMG_0827I have spent a lot of time thinking about the bowl or the vessel that was coming my way. I had such great hopes to do wonderful things with it while it was in my possession…but what did happen was one beautiful afternoon. An afternoon shared among my closest friends…my mom and sisters and my neighbor! Earlier in the day I had written “The Vessel”…so I shared that with my family and friends and thanked them for being my bowl, my vessel in life…my protection, my safety net, the people who held and embraced me. Then we served our birthday “brookies” (brownies and cookies made together), we each shared a memory of the person sitting next to them. It was a wonderful birthday celebration! The bowl was then cleaned, dried and placed back in the beautiful basket with the leather handle, tucked back in between the brown shredded crinkled paper and return to Casey’s for the next person or family to embrace!

IMG_0826The Vessel
 Vessel: noun \ˈve-səl\1. a container (as a cask, bottle, kettle, cup, or bowl) for holding something2. a person into whom some quality (as grace) is infused <a child of light, a true vessel of the LordA vessel or bowl, a common serving piece in one’s kitchen or household, used on a daily basis for breakfast, for preparing meals, for mixing, for serving.A vessel or bowl, an extraordinary piece of art, made by gifted hands, shared with love, shared with a community.A vessel or bowl of the Six Bowl Project, part of our family’s birthday celebration, touched by my Mom, and three sisters, holding the wishes for a wonderful new year.

A vessel or bowl, ordinary and yet extraordinary…holding us together, providing shelter, nourishment, and safety, embracing each of us in love…holding us in love during times of wonderful celebrations and pain.


I am blessed to live in a vessel or bowl called my family. A place where I am loved and treasured. A group of women that offer me peace and safety, and steadfast unconditional love. Mother and sisters that encourage me, protect me, help me to love and grow!I have also been blessed to live within a community that is also a vessel or bowl of love, activism, taking care of each other, and embracing…Whidbey Island.Throughout my life…I have always lived within a family (whether it be my own family, my faith family, my work family, my family of friends, or the community in which I live, that have embraced, enfolded, surrounded, protected, given me love, supported and accepted me!! A vessel or bowl of people who have made me a better person, been there when I am scared and alone! A vessel or bowl of people who have cheered me on, celebrated my successes and picked me up when I have fallen.So, here’s to the vessel, the bowl that surrounds each of us in love! I am truly blessed!Peace!
Kim Merritt

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