is for beaches, brothers, breakfast and babies. Books and blooms, butterflies and beauty. Backyards and back rubs, barbecues and brownies. Bear hugs, breath, best friends and birthdays. Basil and blogs, blessings and beginnings. I love the "b" list. So many rich, soul-satisfying things begin with "b."
I am especially grateful for brownies. Yes, brownies. It's a family thing. It is my mother's first instinct of hospitality, I think, because she has been whipping up batches of brownies for more occasions than you can shake a stick at. She took them to Friends Meeting, to board meetings, to new friends in old neighbors and old friends in new neighborhoods. She made them for us at home for special occasions and no occasion, to celebrate accomplishments or bolster sagging spirits. She sent them in care packages and lunch boxes. She is the queen of brownies, in my opinion, and they are always made from scratch. Sometimes she ices them (oh, so good), and sometimes she adds nuts or chocolate chips. No matter they're rendering, they are divine.
The recipe came from my grandmother, who I believe cut it from a magazine. One fall Mom was visiting me in St. Louis. I was slated to preach on All Saints Sunday, and as it was the first Sunday of the month, at one of our services I would be doing a children's sermon. In anticipation of delivering a message about legacies, Mom and I whipped up a bunch of brownies, and iced and decorated them with colorful mini m&m's. Each was packaged in its own bag, and tied with a length of yarn and a copy of the recipe. Each child who came up for the sermon received a brownie to take home. Our project reflected a multi-layered message about what we inherit from those who come before us, whether it's an inheritance of recipes or faithful living (or both!), and as a communion of saints, as a matter of course we share the wealth of what is given to us.
I'm looking forward to the day when I can whip up batches of brownies with my grandchildren, and share with them the stories of family traditions and occasions that link the present with the past. And who knows, maybe they, in turn, will make brownies for board meetings and offer them to new neighbors.
"C" you tomorrow.