We’re baking an old-fashioned almond cake (the kind Abraham Lincoln loved). Grandma instructs me in the way her own mother taught her: when you think you’ve creamed the sugar and butter enough, do more.
I consider how I often stop short when the best and sweetest is just a ways ahead.
Next, onto folding the egg whites into the batter. She teachers how it’s much gentler than you think. No banging the bowl; no rough stirring; no smashing. It’s a light, gentle incorporation. It’s even more gentle than you think.
I consider how against my own nature this gentle folding is when it comes to insisting others take hold of my plans or ideas. I step back, and whatever gentleness I can muster, I stay even more peaceful.