I’ve often longed to walk in the woods, have a solitary moment with nature, to commune and receive enlightenment as the buddha did, under a bodhi tree [Hmm we don't have those, although a mango tree would do].
But no. There are times when I feel condemned to trudge the life of a worker, trying to make ends meet to survive. No time for leisure, to rest or recreation – after all, I have my son’s tuition to pay, the bills to settle and rent, medicine…ah! the medicine…and taxes.
My son was sick for the entire week. He had an asthma attack for 3 days and had a bad case of colds too. So, I decided to cook soup for dinner.
I was preparing the ingredients when my son came in the kitchen.
“Hi ma, what’s for dinner?”
“I don’t know love. Chicken soup I guess. But we don’t have potatoes..and noodles..” I said, chopping the onions.
“Is that still chicken soup without the potatoes and noodles?” He continued.
“Of course it is still chicken soup…it might taste a little different..but it is what it is.”
“Well… you can put thick cream in mine and it will also still be chicken soup to me.” My son smiled.
“Love, they might call that by another name.”
“Yes ma, but for me it’s still chicken soup” He then went back to chat on the net, telling his classmates on facebook that he was having Chicken Soup with thick cream for dinner.
That was when it hit me. I realized a few things while cooking:
- If you are so concerned with the end-result, one loses sight of the idea. I knew a wonderful blogger who could cook from scrap [or is the word scratch?]. She would just put anything in the pot and it would turn out great. I tried her chicken soup recipe and it came close to my grandmother’s recipe too. I didn’t even realize chicken soup could be cooked that way. My mother did it differently.. in the end..it was still chicken soup.
- Chicken soup will be chicken soup to those who cook it. It can’t be ‘my way is better than your way.’ Rather… it’s more of, ‘my way is a different way’. We are all one. The dish is still chicken cooked in soup.
- There are many ways to cook chicken soup. Just as there are many ways to climb a mountain.. pray to God.. do meditation and receive enlightenment. And just when you realize that you cooked the best chicken soup, somebody will tell you that there’s a different way [for the nth time]. It would be different and it would taste just as great.