Monday, November 13, 2023


(ground) chicken soup
     Thanks to a good friend, my daughter, and my wifeand their kitchen fearlessnessI can now make a delicious chicken soup. It's pretty easy: I think the secret is the right combo of garlic and ginger. 
     So why was I intimidated? Probably because chicken soup has a legendary reputation: it's basically medicine, right? And we all need some medicine occasionally, especially at this time of the year. As winter here redraws the landscape white and shades the sky grey most days, we must find our medicines where we can, in the kitchen and otherwise. 
     Poet e.e. cummings described Winter as a "murderer" standing over a "snowstopped silent world." Yikes. There might not be enough chicken soup in the world for that mindset. As a Canadian in the North, I can appreciate, even respect Winter, but sometimes it messes with my mindset: ongoing darkness, roadway stress, vague dis-ease. 
     Yet my worrisome Winter mindset is just that: one perspective. It's reframe-able. It's the difference between distress and eustress. I find this language helpful. As you know, distress is longer-term stress with negative impacts, like a break-up, financial problems, or work-demands; but eustress is short-term and beneficial stress, like moving to a new community, or flying for the first time, or learning something newit helps motivate us, builds character, inspires growth.
     If only the words themselves made it that easy, eh? Although the distinction provides perspective, too much snow can be less of an opportunity to go sledding down a steep hill and more of just much too much snow. Sigh. 
     Dear friends, I encourage you to consider how you react to the snow, (inevitable struggle) and to make, or find your medicine where you can.

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