Tuesday, September 10, 2013


She sits at the bar with her head in her hands, Just how much can a girl take in this world?

The friend pulls a large silver pot from it's place on the shelf, Not a question I would ask. How 'bout we make a pot of beans? Would you like some sweet tea, water with lemon, a stiff drink?

Just water, she says and the glass is delivered.

The friend takes a ham bone from the freezer. Something she had saved for such an occasion. The ham bone is put in the pot and covered with water plus two inches. A cutting board is taken from the cabinet near the sink and placed on the counter. In the sink a bowl is filled with water and vinegar.  Two long stalks of celery, two large carrots are washed and chopped into large chunks on the board. You know, the friend says to her, I have always loved your kitchen.

She looks up, produces her first near smile of the evening, Michael told me the other day that I was in love with my place.


I said, 'Yes. I am in love with my place.'

Nothing wrong with that, huh? The friend drops the vegetables into the pot with the bone, quarters an onion and adds it to the concoction. The pot is carried to the stove, placed on a burner. A knob is turned. A flame appears.

You know he's blaming it on me. He says it's my fault.

The friend turns, walks again to the counter just below the bar where she is sitting, leans down, looks at her and says, Look at me. I'm going to tell you a secret of the universe. It's going to hurt at first, a slight sting, but then there will be um, maybe, we'll see if there is relief. 


The friend whispers, You are not the axis on which this world turns.

Note to reader: I had planned to write with a recipe. This one. I love what Mary does, and I love what a good soup and cooking it together can do for a couple of friends, but this writing found it's end before the recipe did. So there you have it. Incomplete but complete.

Today I am grateful to be able to return a favor.

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