Carrot soup was on the menu – a touch of spice and sweetness, vegan and diary free as well. All care was taken to make the choice of carrot soup for the guests that arrived in time for lunch on a winters day with Venus in transit from Melbourne to Adelaide. Our host had listened, remembered and delivered more warmth than was in the bowls. She chose very well, witnessed by the “yes please, I would like some more.”
I first met this soup maker in her choice of a coffee shop, then in a foreign land, that had all the familiarity of shared histories; and now in the comfort of her own home. Another step on this forever pilgrimage, taking another sip from the soup bowl together.
The next day the soup I had was bestowed upon me by a couple sharing their day off with me by the seaside. It was an honouring of times gone by and a gradual unfolding of what might be ahead with friendship re-kindled. Chicken (and vegetable) soup for the soul, heralded a conversation alive with the radical spirit and critique we were able to reactivate in a single sip.
Another day in the week and I was graced with another soup. This time there was the echo of a full winter garden. The soup was crafted with love, first knitted together in my womb more than thirty years ago. Shared with the originators of the creation; communion.
In the confines of a workplace, a final bowl of soup for the week was heated up in the microwave after being poured from a pre-packaged supermarket purchased container. It had none of the love of the other bowls sipped with deep affection earlier in the week. I was however comforted by thinking that it was a moment of east meeting west – the soup was laksa and the packaging meant I could enjoy it easily without a trip to Malaysia. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about the humble tea bag being a wonderful expression of east meeting west – where the plentiful tea leaves of Asia and held together in single serves for us Europeans to enjoy at our leisure. So with that memory, I breathed in eastern cuisine infused by western packaging and smiled as I breathed out and took my first spoonful.
I have been served by soup this week.
I love that all the ingredients rest together to make a whole that has to be contained in a bowl. I love how soup comes in a bowl and always prefer to drink soup from a bowl rather than a mug. The bowl is my favourite receptacle for eating from. I love the shape of bowls and how my hands can cup the bowl. I love the openness of bowls. Like an open womb I drink from the bowl and take all that I need to sustain me for the next step of the journey.
I have discovered Hildegard that there is an Angel of Light soup on the market that includes the herbs you advised for soup. I am sure you would have had many a bowl of soup shared with friends, family, travellers and co-workers in the vineyard, barnyard and fields.
When I sit down for the soup of life I want to always be able to say; “Yes please, I do want some more”, regardless of what is being served up and in what shape packaging it comes in. In my heart, I do know that the great soup maker always makes it with love even when I see it packaged in plastic, blinded by the east/west co-creation it may well be.
Soup has served me well this week.