“Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise.” – Proverbs 22:17
My wife Tee is a master pie maker, so among our family and close friends her pies are considered delicacies, works of art. Her secret is not in the recipes, for she’s most happy to share them with anyone who asks; rather it is in her magic touch. As you know the foundation of any good pie is the crust, and making a good pie crust requires much more skill than simply blending together the correct portions of ingredients and rolling it out. It involves having a sense of when the dough feels right, has enough or too little moisture, its elasticity, how it looks. The outcome of the dough is connected to other factors such as the amount of humidity in the air and the temperature of the room where it is being prepared. Tee is sensitive to all those things, making subtle adjustments that cannot be explained.
It was hanging out in the kitchen with her mother, also a master pie maker, where Tee developed this extraordinary talent, paying attention and listening. It was there I’m quite sure that Tee observed certain subtleties about mother’s techniques that can never be explained in words. It was those subtleties that made Tee’s mother’s pies unique, that made her mother’s character unique, and therefore what makes Tee and her pies unique. And all those precious hours together will forever keep Tee connected to her mother.
That is why being served a slice of Tee’s pie is such a special privilege. Besides being delicious, it connects us to her and who she is. Observing her magic touch in the making of the pie crust reveals part of her character, as well as connecting us to her mother and her character. Today, in much the same way, I catch glimpses of our granddaughters – a whole new generation – connecting with their “Grantee” by hanging out in her kitchen, paying attention and listening.
Neither Tee nor her mother ever baked a pie for their own consumption. It has always been for someone else, a special gift to family and friends. And ultimately that’s the real secret, the magic touch that makes them perfect – what makes them such works of art
“Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise,” the Proverb reminds us. And observe those subtleties that can never be explained in words.