I spent several glorious days last week at the Festival of Faith and Writing Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Despite the downright wintry temps and freezing rain that stung my face as I traipsed across the campus of Calvin College, my time away was rich and informative, peppered with lots of laughter, a smattering of tears, and hearing from some of my favorite authors (Walt Wangerin, Luci Shaw, and Marilyn McEntyre, to name just a few). All too soon though, it came to an end, and due to a winter storm warning (yes, in Michigan, in April!), we hightailed it out of town Saturday evening, arriving home around 3:00 AM Sunday morning.
Sunday was spent running around, returning to the reality of taxes coming due and picking the dog up from the kennel and catching up with mom and visiting my aunt. It was a day of non-stop running in non-stop rain. In spite of taking a few hours to open my notebook and reflect on all that I’d seen and heard, I fell into bed that evening feeling a little undone, not quite ready to move on from the conference, not quite ready to return to everyday life. I tossed and turned for a while, ruminating on the week ahead and strangely feeling the need to make some soup.
I woke up Monday morning on a mission. I roasted some carrots, sautéed onions and garlic, and simmered it all with some stock, allowing the flavors to marry before subjecting it to the whims of my hand blender. And then I finished it off with some coconut milk. Delish!
More and more, life mirrors the process of making soup. It’s about learning to be patient, being selective on flavor and ingredients, using what I have on hand, allowing the flavors time to meld together into something altogether different from the individual flavors. The taste of carrots combined with ginger and coconut milk is warm and comforting, as opposed to shredded carrots in a cool, refreshing salad or the aroma of carrots and potatoes roasted with chicken or beef.
Making soup grounds me once again in the reality of daily living, reminding me that the everyday moments all add up if I’m paying attention, that life is lived over time—in months and years and even decades. I’m learning to experiment with different ways of being and doing, trusting the process will bring forth beautiful things worth savoring.