To Find Stock

To “make stock,” you boil down the remains of things – the bones of a roast chicken, the unused vegetables from the week, the leftover onions and herbs. You place it all in a pot and set it on the stove to boil away until everything has blended together into a rich broth, deep with flavor and purpose.

When we “take stock,” it is of similar process. We bring together experiences and moments, thoughts and ideas, and let them simmer for a while, mingling and merging to create a well-seasoned potage of intention.

There has been much fodder for that potage this week…

A holiday demands attention.

A new year fast approaches.

A dinner celebrates a great accomplishment.

A conversation weighs heavily.

A wake bears testament to a short life well lived.

A prediction gives a moment of pause.

There is a graceful ritual to stock making: the collection of ingredients, the consideration of flavor, the preparation of gathered items, patience and attention. It is, as author Paul Coelho says of a traditional tea ceremony, a “communion with the universe.”

There can be graceful ritual to stock taking as well, if we allow time for that communion. If we are willing to be patient, to give attention, to find our way to quiet simmering.

• • •

©2012, Jen Payne

The Soup, Pablo Picasso, 1903

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