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“Everybody’s wishing they could go to the south of France”

The lussekatter dough was weirdly cold this year, colder than the whole wheat dough from Wednesday. I can still feel the chill in my hands, even though it’s risen fine, avidly even.

And the blueberries–the blueberries are not the good blueberries, because we haven’t been to that grocery store in ten months. The blueberries are the fine-I-guess-if-this-is-what-we-can get blueberries.

They’re still here. They’re still lussekatter. And oh, is it dark.

My tinydog has gotten old, this year. Her hearing has gone, and she’s shakier on her feet. Sometimes when I’m cooking–and this happened while I was making the lussekatter–she follows me around the kitchen much more closely than she ever did before, staying at my heels when I go from fridge to counter to sink. I take more breaks to wash my hands, crouch down and snuggle the dog, wash my hands again. I pick her up and let her lean into my chest, and I tell her she’s a good girl, I tell her I love her, in case she can still hear it through bone conduction. Or else just to get a chance to lean into each other. Because…what she mostly seems to need, these days, is the reassurance that yes, I am still here, we’re still together.

We are. Hi. Happy Santa Lucia Day.

I am, you know. I am still here. We are still together, making lussekatter, even if you can’t smell mine and I can’t smell yours. Even if it feels like the world is taken apart in pieces. I’m still doing this thing, this piece of fragrant golden light. I was relieved, this week, to hear that a friend had gotten his panettone, because I know it’s important to him, and this is not a year to skip important things. While the lussekatter dough was rising, Mark made himself childhood treats he’s only made once in the last twenty years, because they just sounded comforting and nice.

I may be singing “Coldest Night of the Year” to myself as I knead, but I’m still singing. I’m still kneading. I won’t say, “it can’t get us,” because of course it can, that’s how viruses work. But so far it hasn’t. We may be struggling, but we are still struggling. There’s more dark to come yet–the darkest is yet to come–but there’s light coming too. And we know that. We do. Even this year. Even now.

Happy Santa Lucia Day.













2007: and

2006: — the post that started it all! Lots more about the process and my own personal lussekatt philosophy here!

4 thoughts on ““Everybody’s wishing they could go to the south of France”

  1. I had to Google Santa Lucia Day to remind myself of what it was (Brit here), but I struggled to read the Wiki entry because I was half blinded by the tears to which you moved me. Thank you for sharing, Happy Santa Lucia Day. I hope you and yours stay safe and well in the dark days ahead.

  2. As always, thank you for being a source of light in the darkness. I love you, my friend.

    1. Love you too, buddy.

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