A bird bowl followed me back home from Cozumel.
It is perfect for me in every way. I love it. I play with it almost every day. It’s wide, shallow, gently curving — it cradles everything from salads to Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs (fabulous recipe, highly recommended!) to Chicken Cutlets with Tomatoes Saute (quick and easy) to charred-to-death poblanos and overcooked steak. Who knew I’ve had a bird-bowl-sized hole in my kitchen equipment all this time?
The bowl came with a lesson too, as all the best bowls do.
I spotted it in a little shop off the main square and loved it right away, but then I started second-guessing myself. Another bowl, a more finely crafted, sophisticated bowl with delicate little brush strokes and no bird, rested on the next shelf down, and I began to think that I should buy the sophisticated bowl. The bird bowl was a little crude, a little silly. It did not say, “My owner is a connoisseur of fine earthenware, and it is an honor to be in her exquisitely curated collection.” I wavered, stalled, walked away.
But a special someone saw through my youthful idiocy, someone who appreciates about me what I often can’t appreciate about myself, and said in the sweetest voice, “But, Alison, the bird looks like you! The way he looks up out of the bowl, it’s like he’s saying, ‘Here I am! And what are you going to do about it?’”
So I bought it, and it became a little gift to myself. Not only is it perfect for looking at and perfect for using, that little bird peeks up at me at our dinner table to remind me that it’s okay to be a little playful at heart, and that I don’t need to cramp who I really am to be whoever it is I think I should be.