Early Thanksgiving morning, baking a pie. Pouring molasses, a whole cupful.
As the bottle empties and the pouring slows, time suspends. There is no visible movement, only connection, from bottle to bowl and back again.
In that moment of stillness the thought rises up that maybe molasses is the perfect kind of sweet. Hearty, unrefined, deep. You—who as a child loved to suck on sugar cubes, who as an adult has not managed to grow out of loving any sort of sweetness, whatsoever—suddenly you know that this is the kind of sweet to covet most. White sugar is vapid, has no depth. Brown sugar (as much as you liked to sneak hard little clumps of it when Mom was baking) is something of an imposter. Honey—yes, it is richer, deeper, but it seems to lack strength. The fake sugars—they are all cheats. But molasses—that is the kind of sweet you can desire all your life. The kind that is complex, and strong. It has a history to it, but unlike that unsatisfactory word bittersweet (upset you all your life, that idea of mixing bitter and sweet) it seems to consist of the sweetness left over after the bitter, or maybe the sweetness that rose up from it. A sweetness that triumphs, that gleams, that suspends time as it pours out—even if there is never a hint of glitter.