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Like stage prompters, March’s lengthening sunrays split nail-hard buds tipping shrubs, perennials, and trees. Promise of fresh greens, whites, pinks, and yellows rouses hope in psyches starved for color’s kiss.

It’s happening again. Let us give thanks …

December’s true colors are found in a pot of homemade vegetable soup warming on the stove in the late afternoon darkness. Such was yesterday’s surprise with the gift from my nephew and his wife. I was impatient for the first spoonful, having enjoyed their soup before on other occasions, though never quite the same.

It was rosemary, I think, that flavored the organic vegetables and bits of chicken and kept me spooning for more until my bowl was clean. Buttered toast stretched the meal’s enjoyment. As I placed the leftover soup in the fridge, I reflected upon the implications of this savory gift.

True, the soup satisfied my hunger. True, there was another serving left. True, I was aware of the labor involved: the hours of selecting the organic vegetables and preparing them: carrots, celery, artichokes, beans, peas, zucchini, butternut squash, greens, onion, asparagus, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, and others I could not make out. Addition of chicken pieces added texture and subtle flavor.

But the vegetable soup was also a remedy for the soul: prepared in love and offered in love. Only within this ambiance are hungers, of any kind, fully satiated. And this is what really matters. We remember that Jesus invites us to feed the hungry. Tim and Karen, my nephew and his wife, did just that: I was fed and am grateful …

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