The Zen of Soup-Making: Monday Meanderings

Photo: cincinnatiwaldorschool.org

Photo: cincinnatiwaldorschool.org

Most everyone who has visited my blog knows that my husband is the cook. I’m the housekeeper and laundress, but he is the chef. That does not mean, however, that on occasion I’m not drawn to the kitchen.

The “occasion” began yesterday when I had the bone of a turkey breast to dispose of and decided, instead, to begin a pot of soup. I tossed it in a pot, added finely chopped celery, onions and carrots, water and chicken broth and left it on its own over a low heat. Soon the house was filled with an appetite-inducing aroma. I waited for the Master Chef to do his magic with the spices then, after it stewed some more, allowed it to cool before relegating it to the fridge overnight.

This morning, as it began to warm up again on the stove, I took it a step further. That was when I came to realize that soup-making could, indeed, become a sacred moment and a powerful tool of the creative muse.

As I cut chunks of carrots, the sounds of the blade against the cutting board wed the song of finches eating from the feeder outside the kitchen window. Two dogs sat, ears pricked, eyes fixed on my every move, hoping I would notice and reward them with a tiny morsel. When I switched to celery, their interest waned.

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A few minutes later, a mallard couple stealthily made their way up from the pond, planning, no doubt, to encroach upon the smaller birds seed. I waved them off, reminding them that I would toss what was left onto their turf when the finches and sparrows had finished.

My chopping continued followed by clean up as I contemplated the wonder of simple tasks completed with awareness. It was a time to surrender to the stillness, to trust. A time to gestate.

Such is the magic of simple tasks, a spiritual discipline, an uncluttered mind.

On another note, I find I need to take some time to bring a couple of projects to completion. Although I will continue to post, my participation will be more limited for a while. I’ve made the difficult decision to step away from hosting a dVerse for a few months (after this weeks Meeting the Bar)–however long it takes me to publish a novel that’s sitting out there waiting for my attention. I’ve decided to go the route of self-publishing on this one. I will continue to share on-line, but in a more limited role. And I remain committed, of course, to comment on those who visit my work.