This short text is written by Alice Walker as she looks back and remembers key moments of her mother's life and her own memories of being mothered. Walker states that the most precious possession she owns is a blue bowl with a chip in it. Even though it does not look precious to her, its value is enormous because it was given to her by her mother before she had a stroke and began to fade from the world. Walker describes how, when she went to college, her parents moved from their large, comfortable house, to a much smaller appartment, where they began to divest themselves of their few remaining possessions. Walker asks for the bowl one day and is given it. She then explains why the bowl is so important to her, because when she and her siblings were children, they always used to return home in the winter somewhat ashamed of their home, until they opened the door and always saw that bowl on the table, full of delicious food:
The blue bowl stood there, seemingly full forever, no matter how deeply or rapaciously we dipped, as if it had no bottom. And she dipped up soup. Dipped up lima beans. Dipped up stew. Forked out potatoes. Spooned out rice and peas and corn. And in the light and warmth that was her, we dined.
For a childhood that was otherwise marked by struggle, poverty and challenge, the bowl closes the reminiscence as Alice Walker remembers the "light" of her mother's love and the blue bowl.