The Small Things

Ah no… this is not a post on gratitude.

It is about other little things, not the ones we should pay attention to and be grateful for. I admit, the picture there is misleading.

I recently dug out from the bottom of a cabinet our fondue set: new lockdown, new menu. Allez, some enthusiasm!

Only thing missing was some burning alcohol to get the little flame underneath the pot going.

Our local supermarket has a cookware section so “I’ll get it next time I do the groceries” I thought.

In the meantime I checked different kinds of recipes and ways to use the set: cheese fondue, chocolate fondue, Chinese fondue, fondue Bourguignonne, fish fondue with coconut broth…I am telling you!

So now here I am doing my groceries. We decided to go with cheese fondue, and I am not buying the ready-made fondue in a bag so: three different kind of cheese, dry white wine, garlic and all the other ingredients.

Only thing missing is the fuel, let’s go.

As part of the provincial regulations to contain the pandemic, at the moment, in Quebec, shops can only sell essential items.

Well guess what: fondue fuel is not essential.

So here I am in front of the cookware section cordoned off with yellow tape, looking in. I even think I see it, the damn fuel, there on the shelf.

I have tears coming up into my eyes and a swell of thoughts around the pandemic that I didn’t even know I could think. I mean, I have been so chill about the whole thing since March that I am surprising myself. Really? No fuel for my fondue? I already bought the ingredients, I checked out all the recipes, I got the right kind of cheese (gouda for smoothness, swiss for flavour,  and cheddar… because that’s what we eat here in Canada), I never complained since March, I followed the rules, wore my mask, heck I even made masks for charity!, I didn’t party, I didn’t fly back home (nor to the Caribbean for that matter) and I can’t buy fondue fuel? For my cheese fondue? Really?

Come on Maddalena, it is just some fondue fuel. We can eat something else. We will be fine. (That is me talking to myself, I do it all the time.)

Fondue fuel. A small thing, right?

Small things are sometime precious little triggers that help me notice where the big issue is. It is seldom about the fondue fuel itself. Or my teen mumbling something rude, or the dishwasher that nobody unloads, or that comment my colleague made…

If I give the little things that trigger me enough attention, instead of just reacting to them, they point to where it hurts and help me take a pause.

So, in the end, you are not all that cool about this pandemic eh, Maddalena? (this is me again, talking to myself, I do it all the time) It is actually, somehow, weighting on you…even if you are an introvert, even if you don’t like parties, even if you know you are one of the lucky ones…Is it because you are one of the lucky ones that you shouldn’t be complaining?

The pause I take is full of questions and some will not find an answer. But it helps me be more aware of my feelings, the reasons behind my actions and reactions and it allows for pent up emotions to be expressed in a healthier way. I can certainly cry at the supermarket because I cannot buy the fondue fuel that is right there on the shelf, but I feel better when I finally admit that I too find this all thing difficult, and long and draining.

By the way, a small hardware store down the street sold the fuel and we had our cheese fondue 😊.

Published by Madi

Artist, Reiki practitioner, constantly wondering why we do thing the way we do.

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