Food stories. Do they ever strike a chord with me. When my mom would cook up ground beef, cut up tomatoes, avocados, & lettuce to create a Sunday taco bar. The bounty set before me was unreal, because most nights were flour tortillas with refried beans & cheese. Full fledge taco bar meant cornucopia. Blessing.
I would stand over the stove watching Mrs. Carrillo squeeze off a piece of dough and proceed to roll out equal circles & cook on the comal. What proceeded was freshly cooked tortilla slathered in butter, rolled & devoured.
Food speaks stories. Food, when we allow it, breaks down walls & welcomes in the stranger with work worn hands. It ushers in the man who tirelessly gives of himself for his family. We come in from the rain, wind & cold elements to find our nose tickled with oregano, meat braised & a thick stew simmering.
Community is found at the table, surrounding a meal; whether, it be extravagant or a meager taco bar. Self is discovered here. But, only when we do our part and bring what we have & invite others to share in it.
I recently retold the story, Stone Soup at my local storytellers guild. If you've never read it, I encourage you to do so while eating a warm meal. In any great story, we encounter characters who hit a conflict and are changed in spite of it. The peasants of the village, where three tired soldiers encounter, are suspicious of anyone new. They begin to hide all their food, only to lie to the soldiers that they have no food, or bed for them.
The soldiers speak of making Stone Soup, which is water & three large smooth stones. The peasants peer in to watch what will become of this stone water. Eventually, the soldiers speak of how the soup would taste better "if" they had carrots, or barley, or beef. One peasants shouts, "I have carrots," the other, "I have barley," and yet another, "I have beef." And as the soup is transformed, we see the suspicious peasants hearts are transformed. What began as hearts of possession turned to hospitable souls, where the table was being redeemed.
I invite you to join me this year of Stone Soup. Will you consider how you can give one thing, possession on a weekly basis, in order to transform the stone soup of your soul. To redeem your table, which redeems others as well. More to come on the year of Stone Soup...