One day, her mother asked Corin if she wanted to learn to cook and sew and garden just as she did. Of course, Corin was anxious to learn. Corin soon found she was pretty good at these things. She would cook for friends and neighbors and because she made everything with such innocence and joy, a renewed spirit began to come over the whoever she would cook for. All who would sample this fresh new style of cooking from the young rising star would remember their own childhood innocence. Sometimes there were bad memories, but more often they were good and the memories washed over people like a baptismal fountain.
The day Corin began to sing she found her specific gift. Her mother saw this and knew it was time. That night after work and school, they went into the garden together to gather up some salad fixings to go with dinner and some yellow zucchini and orange peppers for the ratatouille. Ratatouille would always mark a special occasion. It was Corin’s favorite dish. There was something elegant about this country fare she could not pin point. And whenever her mother made it, strange magic would happen.
They gathered up their baskets when they were full of fragrant basil and peppers and spinach and chatted away as they went inside.
The steps made the shifting and crackling sound wood makes when it gets a worn in. Up up up the lavender colored steps held up by kick plates that were painted like a Rousseau jungle with an African moon and sky.
“I am so proud of you for doing so well in school. Your teachers say you have all A’s and it should be no problem for you to get a scholarship to a good university,” she said as she thinly sliced the zucchinis. “Mrs. Millerbean says you have to be creative though and not to just rely on your academic scores. She says you’ll be asked to write some narratives and essays about what you want to do with your life and stuff.”
“I know. I’ve been thinking about it,” Corin responded as she lay the blossoms in the flour preparing them for frying. “My history teacher says I have the ability to create great change. She’s always telling everyone that the future is in our hands though. I don’t know how I am going to create ‘great change’ with singing. I want to study art and art history, but that seems risky. I’m pretty good at math so I thought about business or engineering. I like to write, so I thought about studying literature. I’m just not sure.”
“You could teach.”
“No. It seems arrogant, but I visualize myself in front of many people somehow. I see myself also happily working in the garden,” Corin paused. “I know those statements seem disconnected. Don’t they? I guess I have to figure it out.”
“You will, dear. And you will do great things!”
After dinner her mother takes her by the hand and as she talks Corin notices her mother is saying good bye. She’s leaving her. She begins to vanish and Corin becomes filled with a feeling of love and sadness. Before leaving, her mother gave her all her gifts. Corin’s practice of them were rough still, but she would learn.