A few weeks ago, one of our neighbors knocked on the front door. He carried a whole plate of delicious in one hand and a dog leash in the other. It was hard for him to juggle both, I think, but he outstretched his hand with that blue plated cake, offering our family a sweet dessert.
And a little love.
We’d had a rough stretch over here on this side of the street. Awkward stuff to talk about, really, and we stood there he and I, neither sure what to say. So we chatted a bit instead about his dog and probably the weather, but care and kindness were there – passed from his hand to mine, neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, family to family.
The blue plate traveled back across the street today warmed by a 3 x 3 array of cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins, just out of the oven.
Once upon a time ago, I learned or read or heard never to return a dish empty. For a long time, I supposed such a custom to be about good manners.
I know now it’s about gratitude.
Each tiny muffin a warm thank you from our home to theirs.
Reaching out from one side of the street to the other.
And heart to heart.
P.S. If you’d like to bake these oh-so-moist and autumn-inspired muffins, I used a recipe from Inspired by Charm. Mine came out more muffin-like than donut-like. They sure looked cute nested in their crisp, white muffin liners!