I think everybody has their way of coping with problems or a case of the blues. Some people meditate, some hit the gym, some drink, some write lists or utter affirmations… Me—I make soup.
There is something relaxing and mind emptying about making soup. When you are chopping vegetables, mixing herbs and spices and roasting meat, you don’t have the room in your head to focus on anything else. I suppose it links back to some ancient synapse that fires up once the ritual begins. For me, the trigger is the smell of sauteed onions, the sweet pungent fragrance puts my mind in nurture mode and I can feel my whole body relax.
Because I know that something good is coming. No matter how much bad there has been that day, week or month. Something warm, tasty and comforting is in my near future. And I can cup that bowl with one hand while spooning up that goodness with the other. Vapor warms my face and the food warms my insides and when things are bad it’s the insides that need that warmth – that needs to send a signal to the brain that at least for the time being you are safe. That at least you won’t go hungry tonight and you won’t be cold.
Tonight I make soup, as things that worry me have nipped at the edges of my mind all day. Big things, little things, in between things. The kind of things that may or may not be better in the morning. But probably they will be. I know at least in my head that I can decide how good or bad things are. I can decide that change is just change and not really bad nor good – it’s just different. Sometimes it’s even exciting. Still, it gives me a chill, down to my bones. It makes me feel like a child, unsure, tenuous, a little afraid.
So, tonight I will eat my soup and let it comfort me. Because tomorrow is as yet unknown.
Here’s a great recipe for a stick to your ribs soupy goodness.