They say that a good marriage begins with a lot of compromise. I say that a good marriage begins with a cast iron skillet.
In the beginning, the skillet is new and clean. It has not been tested yet; it lacks the wisdom of trial and error, of success and failure. Like any marriage it takes time to season the vessel, to appreciate the wonderful offerings that come from the ingredients that are placed inside it. Over the years, the skillet develops a sense of place within the kitchen and the home. Unlike other appliances or cookware, it often becomes something that is passed from one generation to the next with a certain reverence for what it was and what it will become.
When we were married eighteen years ago, we were given a Lodge cast iron skillet. At the time, the significance of the gift was unknown. The person that gave it later explained that this was a tradition in her family, to give this particular gift. It was something to be treasured for its celebration of past, present and future. When my wife’s grandmother passed away, one of the items that we have cherished from her is her cast iron corn stick pan. She always reminded us not to clean the pan, but to simply rinse and wipe.
This is much like our life. We don’t want to wash away the experiences because we merely want them to become another layer of wisdom that we add to our years. By simply rinsing and wiping, we season the dish that will only grow better with age.