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Through the looking glass.

It’s time. Spring has arrived, both officially and vocally, at least according to the nest of birds living in our kitchen exhaust vent.

While much of our small, sweet apartment still harbours fugitives that belong at the thrift store, and I’m succumbing to the sunny day urges of chucking and sorting, I’ve decided to focus my spring fever on our freezers.

One of them, a stalwart white cube, has survived a fire with its contents blissfully intact. This heroic freezer is not ours, really – we’re giving it a home until September, when its owners return from a year in England.

Which means I only have a few months to use everything that’s in there.

So here’s the menu:

  • 1 kg of frozen green peas
  • a package of smoked oysters
  • 1/4 of a chocolate cake (I have no memory of making this or why it’s still in there!)
  • a unusually large ziploc bag of unidentifiable crumbs
  • apricot puree
  • six different soups
  • shredded pork
  • peaches from two summers ago, in various states of undress
  • plums, plums and more plums
  • samosa mix to fill one and a 1/4 decent samosas
  • pancakes, toaster ready
  • a large turkey shepherd’s pie (made after Christmas)
  • 3 bags of blueberries
  • 2 french toast bagels
  • glutinous rice balls
  • frozen punch drink mixers
  • chicken, steak, hamburger
  • oatmeal cookies
  • salmon and pollock fillets
  • chili
  • scraps of pastry dough
  • “health cookies” – heavy on the health, and light on the tasty
  • chopped green onions
  • an open bag of cranberries
  • raisin bagels
  • an entire loaf of unsliced french bread, still in its store packaging
  • orange liquid in a ziploc bag (soup? gravy? stock? ew?)

Okay. Not that bad, really…well, maybe the scrunched bits of pastry and the tiny ziploc bag of chopped green onions hint at indecision or desperation.

We put edibles in freezers in order to delay decision-making. Sometimes, we forget about them. Sometimes, they become unrecognizable under the encroaching frost. Sometimes, we wonder why (exhibit a: a quarter pan of chocolate cake. What went wrong there?) we put such items on ice in the first place.

I knew someone who’d put whole 4 litre jugs of milk and extra blocks of cheese into their freezer. Another person put everything in their deep freeze for later, a later that never seemed to arrive. Cakes and cookies, wonderful pies, meats, breads all dissapeared into the cold abyss, while instant noodles made the regular dinner menu.

My creative and emotional life over this last month and a half looks much like my freezer.  I have wonderful writing ideas scrawled hastily in random notebooks, for later. I have a whole book on a lady I admire, collecting frostbite as its drafts languish. I have research and ideas floating about, in limbo, while I let the cold air of procrastination wither fresh thoughts.

I’ve been frozen for awhile now, finding murmurs of the heart and imagination almost unrecognizable under the frost. I’ve been holding off the mud and the floods and the rush of spring thaw.

But like the contents of my freezer, which, now listed and named, are slowly being worked into menu plans and onto dinner plates, my writing is calling me back to its pages, looking for a new spring lyric.

So bring on the later!

It’s time to move on from the wintering sorrows of lost potential and lost friendships, and start growing something new.

It’s time to thaw out, and liberate the languishing talents that bring joy through practice and patience.