A Mei Moment: I am making peanut sauce tonight. Mei is sitting at the counter, downing her third dinner (1st course before tap lessons, 2nd course after tap and before gymnastics, 3rd course after gymnastics). All courses include pasta.
I take some ginger root out of the freezer, slice off the skin and start to microplane it into the sauce. It is still amazingly moist and fragrant on the inside. The scent of ginger wafts and coils around us.
Mei snaps out of her reverie. “Mom, what’s that stuff?” she demands. “That, my dear, is ginger,” I say. I hold the stump of the root under her nose and she inhales. “Mmmmm”, she says.
Then, urgently, “Mom, we have to keep this stuff around all the time!”
“Why is that, honey?”
With the conviction of a true believer she said, “If we smell it when we are sad then the sadness will go away.”
I stop stirring. “Really? Can ginger take away our sadness?”. “Yes Mom, that smell will take away sad thoughts and leave only happy ones.”
I pause. I’ve heard crazier theories and tried less effective remedies for sadness. I take a whiff of the spicy root. Its worth a try.