Filling the House with Love
Yesterday was a hard day. For a lot of people. Sure, it was a happy day for many too. But within my community, most of the people I know saw it as a day of mourning. And like all grief, it hits people in stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
We clearly saw a lot of people last night in stage two.
Anger is one of those things I went through a lot when I was in my college years. I was an angry young man. And I enjoyed carrying that anger around. It gave me an edge. But it was also pretty toxic.
With Tuesday’s election results, I certainly went through denial and bargaining. Maybe there was a flash of anger, but it didn’t last long. And if that anger was directed at anyone, it was toward the DNC.
The cold and the rain yesterday really set the stage for depression. Fortunately, I know how to deal with that.
First though, there is just one thing I have to say for anyone who is uncertain about why I’m taking these election results so hard. It’s not because Hillary lost. It’s not because the republicans took the white house and held a majority in the house and senate. It’s not because of the implications of having a climate change denier in the oval office. It’s not about the rollbacks of hard fought civil liberties won by my friends in the LGBTQIA community.
I get that we need a change in Washington. We do. And I know that Clinton would not have brought that change. She wouldn’t.
But please hear me when I say this. Our president elect has emboldened a rising tide of anti-semitism and islamophobia that puts me, my family, my children, and my friends in harm’s way. If the goal was to “Make America Safe Again” it has gotten decidedly less so for many Americans.
If you aren’t Jewish or Muslim, then you’re probably not feeling it. You may not even be seeing it. But it’s there. It’s growing louder. And it’s ugly. Still, I’m not angry. I’m not even afraid. Mostly, it’s just sad. But I’m on the path to acceptance.
You know what helps? Chicken soup.
Yesterday, the thing that cut through the gray, cold, and rainy day was a pressure cooker filled with some of the collected chicken carcasses of the summer. I put them in the pot with a few carrots and onions from the CSA. I took handfuls of black and white peppercorns, another good handful of coriander seeds, and threw them in the pot with a few cloves and bay leaves.
I didn’t have any celery in the house, so I used a pinch of celery seeds to try and get some of their bright and earthy flavor into the stock.
Then I turned up the heat, and let the pressure cooker do its magic.
Not only did the project warm the house, but it filled the air with the glorious smell of aromatic vegetables and spices. And when it was done, those scraps of skin and bones transformed clear water into something rich and sweet that will warm my bones and comfort my soul.
And those soft, tender, and chicken infused vegetables didn’t go to waste either. Last night, as the stock cooled, I ate those mashed on toasted sturdy bread. They were topped with some large, tender flakes of Maldon salt, and a splash of Tabasco.
For a moment, all was well with the world.
My hope is that all will be well with the world moving forward too. It’s going to take a lot of work. It’s going to take vigilance. It’s going to take love. Hate, anger, and violence never solved anything.