The syncopated bursts of laughter compete with the rhythm of her knife. Chop, sauté, simmer, spice. She loves listening to the retold stories the best, the comfort of favorites filling her up as she fills up the pot with stock and stewed tomatoes. Weaving between listeners, her dance builds layers of flavors, future memories.
The spoon scrapes the bottom of the pot in the silence, the last of the gumbo greedily filling one last bowl. All around the room glazed looks and satisfied smiles meet her searching eyes. No hunger here. No hurt now.
The scent of spices lingers. Loved.
ETA: Here are some of the other Challenge posts...