We awoke to sunshine and mild temperatures, not the usual January weather we are use to. After morning snuggles, juice was pressed and breakfast was made. We chatted. He giggled, I giggled. He looked out the window, the birds caught his attention. He watched. I grabbed a sweet potato from the shelf and started washing and then chopping. Curious he turned his attention back to me and asked what the potato was for? Stone soup I replied. Stone soup he questioned, looking at me with a little grin. Yes, stone soup.
We arrive at Oaks and Acorns, an outdoor nature program for parents and their children. We sing a welcome song and then take a little walk to our spot. The spot where we gather together to explore, enjoy nature and share stories.
Today is the story of stone soup. Do you know it? As we gather small branches from the forest floor our leader of the day tells the story of stone soup.
A woman in torn clothes carrying a stick with a fabric bag attached and an empty cooking pot comes to a village. She asks the villagers if they would be willing to share some food with her, but they say no, they have nothing to share. She looks at them and in a confident tone tells them that is okay she will head down the the stream and make some stone soup. Once at the stream she gathers twigs to start a fire, fills her pot with water and places a large stone in it. She puts it on the fire and waits. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what she is doing. She tells them she is making stone soup and proceeds to give it a little taste. It tastes wonderful she remarks but it could really use something to bring out the flavour. The villager offers to run home and grab an onion and it gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and she again mentions she is making stone soup which still needs a little something to really bring out the flavour. The villager offers to run home and grab a few carrots. With him returns another villager with some seasoning. The carrots and seasoning are added to the pot. Now, more villagers are walking by, offering to add a little something to the pot. Finally, with the work of the village, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is created and enjoyed by everyone.
With our branches, a little fire is started, a pot of water is added and one by one we walk up to the pot and add our ingredients. Each family bringing something to add. We filled the pot with carrots, sweet potato, celery, raisins, cranberries, quinoa, seasoning and miso, and yes a stone was added. Children ran in the woods, adults tended the fire. Children climbed trees, adults gathered in conversation. In the middle of it all our pot of stone soup.
One by one we reached into the pot to fill our mugs with stone soup. A soup filled will good food, love and community. It was delicious, enjoyed by adults and children around the fire, the sun shining and good conversation filling the air.