Don’t reach for that third coconut cookie, fresh from the oven, with its hint of gold on the edges. My eyes grab on to it. Hesitate, girl. Give desire a rest.  

If I surrender and wait, will it save me from another cookie? Come on, don’t let a little restraint escape. Like patience, it might bring me to an impasse that frees my mind, that makes room for curiosity to arise. 

A dreaminess takes over and an oasis appears, a “fata morgana” so nebulous. The wavering image tempts me to walk on for a closer look. I continue, and take off soaring. I see from a bird’s eye view. A deep restorative sigh lowers my heart rate as I hang on the wind. A calm makes me persevere. 

The craving kicks back in for one more coconut cookie. I lose faith in myself. My blood pressure rises at my weakness. The wholesome act of baking cookies taps into my own hidden well of anger. I sit and stare out the window. Light dances on the lake. 

Dazzled by the flickering patterns, a faint tune emerges. I recognize the last piece Dad played on the piano and absent-mindedly hum along. “Abide with Me” flowed out of him hour after hour as his life ebbed. “Fast falls the eventide, the darkness deepens…” I feel myself flow closer to him who is half of who I am. “When other helpers fail, and comforts flee. Help of the helpless, O Abide with Me….” 

Emotions rise up in my throat as I mouth words reverberating with meaning. “Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away….” Is Dad shining through the gloom and pointing me to the skies? “Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness…” My heart lightens from fear of many foes. “Heaven’s morning breaks, and Earth’s vain shadows flee. In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.” The familiar hymn tricks me. My hunger is staved.

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