So now we have a little or rather a tiny olive grove in front of our house, we have many dogs, we grow our own vegetables and we live in the south of France. Next time someone tells you their dreams you should listen carefully, they might in fact be disclosing your own. M.Thorisson
We have moved the plants out from the stairwell and to the corner between our new chairs. They seemed fine, no signs of shivering, but we thought it best to bring everyone home for the holidays. Oh, with the chairs it feels near complete! I feel like I've held my breath for these. Every other option we considered made too much sense but I'm wired for romance!
Vintage hunting is being at the right place, at the right time. Knowing how long to wait and when it's been long enough. I've imagined the home they first came from, all of the hosting they're used to. They're experts, I'm certain of it. Since they've arrived, we've ushered in guests as if to catch up on a year without them and they aren't the least bit flustered. They are blue and beautiful! Full of charm and promise. And the best part, they are ours! They've passed every test!
But before these starlets, there was our dining table. There was always our dining table. The Garden lookout, with the perfect view of every wall and slant. A Crossroad post, the meeting place of tradition and debate. Pointing us in all and every direction as a reminder to meet people where they are and listen to where they have been. Every vein of our home runs back to these four legs and often joke of the deep trouble we would find ourselves in if She could talk. Yes, she. Mais oui, Mimi.
Now, to disclose such treasure is self-sabotage but I've vowed this to be a place of openness so, here, take it. I peel back, my absolute fantasy life. Where I, a half French-Chinese rocket, leave my life as a rising journalist in Paris to marry my Icelandic, photographer (also attractive) husband and move to a breathtaking estate in the South of France. We raise our children and dogs mostly outside and over the table. And I prepare every meal at home with ingredients sourced from neighbouring makers and farmers. I bake, twirl, sautée in designer black dresses while my husband flips records over before joining me with a glass of Médoc Red. My indulgence is her reality! Le sigh. Oh, to be Mimi.
There, the secret's out. We've named our dining room table after a woman who has materialized my impossible, romantic ideals. I have never heard her speak and do not know when her birthday is, but I think I know her. I have seen watercoloured visions of what can happen over food prepared with our hands. The generosity we can tap into surprises even ourselves.
Cooking is the only time my mind stops underlining and highlighting. It is the only time my hands pave the way and the rest of me follows. I believe that's worth taking note of. I've listen for what is consistent, steady, never out of breath. Cooking for people I love and want to love has been all of those things. Such discovery is entirely necessary. I've been able to hang other dreams off this truth. Since being away from home and in the intentional practice of making one in Seoul, the same watercolours settle around dreams of building a rest and retreat space outside of the city. I don't know which city, with whom, or why but I do know enough keep listening. To the sounds of the home, to the seasons, and to my parents- my own olive man.
We have our blue suede chairs and we will always have Mimi. Who knows what else... anything can grow in the Garden.