Life Meandering

One late summer night, as the world slept, the sounds of crickets faded, and a cool breeze set in. The moon returned to its hiding, leaving only the dark star-studded abyss behind. Climbing from her bedroom window to sit on the roof a shooting star raced across the sky. It was then a wish was made.

Maren Muter’s meandering life started with a taste of pure chocolate.

“My chocolate affinity actually began at a beach house in Oregon. It is one of my first memories. I was 3 years old, my dad and I were walking home from the market when he opened a brown paper bag. He pulled out a small block and said, ‘Try this.’ Vocally he was so matter of fact but you could see the twinkle in his eyes. Taking this piece of candy curiously, turning it in my fingers, bringing it closer to my face to get a better look and smell, my mouth began to water. The sleeves of my yellow rain slicker were covering most of my hands, so I stretched my arm to push them back. With a little shoulder shrug and slight sigh I placed the chocolate into my mouth. That I believe was the moment that defined the basis of all that is good and pure for the rest of my life….

My dreams were filled with chocolate and when the stars were bright, I’d lay awake drifting into the sky. If a star shot across like an arrow, my heart wished to find that early cocoa peace again.

Furthering my fixation with cocoa was a request from a young woman. Growing up she and I would quietly spend time together. I read books she’d hand me as I laid on her bed while she organized and dusted her room. She was lovely. Her light brown hair hung softly to her shoulders, her hands were delicate and moved with purpose. Her brown eyes glistened with kindness. She was 6 ½ years older than me. She rode horses, listened to John Denver, and paid me 25 cents for back rubs.

For ten years she fought cancer and towards the end she asked for chocolate, which was strange as she hadn’t had an affinity for it before. She described a dark, satiny smooth cocoa, without bitterness that was comforting on the palate. I searched fruitlessly without being able to find a chocolate to match her desire. In the end, I sat with her, holding her hand.

For a few years her chocolate request swirled into my own desires in the back of my mind. And my quest for the chocolate fairytale began. Talking with thousands of people and sharing samples from a multitude of chocolates I became obsessed with the psychological and physiological effect cocoa has on the mind and body… In order to obtain a chocolate with the dreamlike characteristics my friend requested, I spent years manipulating the modern day processes of chocolate production… and in the end returned to more traditional methodologies, which resulted in development of THAT Chocolate.”   -Maren Muter Meandering