One of my favourite memories of Mum, is when she would come back from a food shop, or a bakery with a brown paper bag, and a big smile. Even if we had argued, she would still bring me some sort of baked good. Chocolate eclairs, cinnamon buns, sausage rolls.
My favourite was a Belgian bun.
She would come back, I’d help her unpack the car, and before we did the shopping, we’d put the kettle on. Together we would sit, drink tea and eat our snack. She wouldn’t get herself a treat; but she’d almost always ask for a bite of mine (much to my greedy annoyance). It wasn’t much, but I treasure it now.
I haven’t had a Belgian bun since, until today.
There is a lot of simple joy to be had in the world, but when we suffer so much pain, indirectly, we stop ourselves from enjoying it. Whether we realize it or not.
I wrote a poem once about the first time I felt joy after my mum died. I was conflicted; I didn’t even know what to name the emotion. It felt wrong, but it felt healing. Eventually I settled into the emotion and called her ‘joy’.
Joy can be painful, too. That doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to enjoy all the little things. We can try to relish the pain it brings; pore over that memory. Remember every feeling and sensation. But welcome the new memory that will come with it.
Time is not still. Your feelings are not still, and they shouldn’t be. When you’re ready; taste those familiar foods enriched with memory. Listen to the treasured albums you haven’t listened to in a long time.
I will enjoy my Belgian Bun now.