Beyond the Immediate

Beyond the Immediate
I took a walk this morning in the holiday-quiet streets.  It was a bright-eyed quiet…crisp and inviting. So I walked…and stopped periodically, rather hoping no one was watching and wondering what I was doing.  I was listening. And looking. And steeping my senses in something detectable though just beyond the immediate. 

I returned home and installed myself in the corner table of the downstairs dining room to do some work while soup did its thing on the stove in the kitchen.  Dividing my attention between the keys in front of me and what was happening in the other room, it occurred to me that much of what happens inside that simple, humble, pot, is also something just beyond the immediate.  It’s chemistry, it’s science, it’s a bit of knowledge, a handful of creative luck; it’s time, hope, patience, and if needed, adaptation. It is layers of flavor, welcome, home, hearth, and nourishment.
There is so much just past the immediate.
And maybe that is where the desert-journey of Lent leads…Maybe that is the draw onward that calls to the students who will be walking out in protest of gun violence…the burning in the hearts of those headed toward Emmaus…That place just beyond the immediate….detectable, desirable, and worth the cost.
The fullness of Mystery, fullness of Love, fullness of grace, justice, welcome…drawing us through an immediate that brings out the absolute fullness of humanity—the potential for devastating hatred and violence as well as the capacity for extraordinary strength, generosity, and tenderness. 

What a gift we have been given to consciously choose to open up our senses, our mind, spirit, being, to something beyond the immediate; to be oriented by a Love known in the here and now and also so much bigger and to let that be what draws us onward, let that be what shapes and informs us–and through us, those around us, on this journey.
Winter Blue Light Lentil Soup 
(Born out of opening drawers and seeing what was there that needed using)
Heat up a good glug of olive oil in a heavy bottom soup pot that has a lid
Sautee the following until the onions are soft and you can smell the spices
1 bok choy, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small bag of baby carrots
about a teaspoon of cumin
a shake or two or three of dried chipotle pepper flakes
Add
a mostly drained can of diced tomatoes (the ones with red pepper if you want kick)
A good handful or two of red lentils (I just reached in the bag and grabbed)
Chicken broth to cover everything
Let burble for a half-hour or so.  Blend with an immersion blender. 

Polish up finished soup with a short glug of rice wine vinegar.

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