I closed my locker, with its contents spread before my feet, and left the building carrying my knives and tools and a tall white hat under my arm.

Our practical exam strung 110 lessons into six well executed dishes.  The smoldering kitchen, thick with muddled smells from our collective cooking, was awash with joy.  The final lesson in the curriculum, fulfilled.

Several years ago, my brother spoke to me of the future. He was weak and disoriented as he lay sick with his hand in mine. He recalled a memory from our childhood where my uncertainty had given way to realization. I did not recognize the story, and was struck by its sense of foreshadowing. I can hear his voice today, now ushering in the present.

As I travelled back along the highway, my brother’s pride was bright in the rising moon; my mother’s love unwavering in the earth’s rock; my father’s strength unfaltering in the tug of gravity that has kept my feet steady.

I dared to dream, through an unforeseen persuasion. And so it has come to be, the wispy fibers of a schoolgirl’s wish have taken root.

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