It’s all around us, streaming on every social media channel, in the papers and magazines, on TV’s and radio, and blaring in restaurants and airports. The news. I’m finding that the more I stay away from seeking it out, the calmer I am.
Today I engaged in cooking therapy and some baking therapy, too. I turned off the news and email, turned on the music, and made a big pot of chicken soup both for my soul and to take to a dear friend whose husband just had surgery. Then I made a loaf of bread from my friend Jane’s book, and capped it all off with some Madeleines just because I like them and they make me feel good. I’ll give the Madeleines away tomorrow. Tonight I’m feeling calmer and more centered than I have in weeks, maybe months.
I feel like I did when I lived at the post and beam house Duncan’s dad and I built in the 1980’s. I taught music, gardened, sewed, knit, read, walked, watched VHS movies with my family, and made ice cream. Our social schedule consisted of play group, a 12 family food buying coop, and evenings with friends for dinner. We rarely listened to the news. The really important stuff always got to us. When the Loma Prieta Earthquake in Oakland struck in October of 1989 we cried because of people we knew who were there; when the Berlin Wall came down three weeks later we celebrated because it meant that our world was more open and free.
Now everywhere I turn I see people wondering “what’s next?” I know that it is important to keep current, but it is also important to turn down the velocity and volume of all the rapidly changing current events before burning up with anxiety.
Today I baked. Today I cooked. Today I helped a friend. Today I took care of me.
- 1 chicken cut into pieces
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 4 small parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, diced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a big pot put about 12 cups of water and turn the heat to high.
- While waiting for the water to boil chop the vegetables.
- Add the chicken pieces and vegetables, optional garlic, salt and pepper.
- Lower the heat and simmer covered for one hour. Lift the chicken pieces from the pot and remove the bones and discard. Cut the meat into bit size pieces and return to the pot. Simmer for one more hour if you like.
- Taste the broth and add more salt to your own taste.