Gathering together in winter reminds me of the
story of stone soup.
It is an old folk tale that goes something like this:
A small village in the mountains was suffering a great famine.
There was little food and spirits were low.
People were staying to themselves and hoarding their food.
One day a stranger came to town.
The people avoided him, fearing that he would ask for food.
The stranger grinned and produced a stone.
With great cheer he announced, "Let us make stone soup!"
A gentle woman leaned closer and said, "Kind sir, what is stone soup?"
The stranger asked the kind woman for a big pot.
He proceeded to build a nice, warm fire
and place the pot of water on to boil.
With a great thanksgiving and blessing,
he placed the stone in the pot.
"Now, all we must do is wait for it to simmer for a few hours and it will be delicious!" he exclaimed.
The woman said,
"Oh kind sir, I have a small head of cabbage we can add."
The stranger smiled and welcomed the addition to the pot.
A young man offered carrots.
A young woman added her one last onion and some herbs.
An elder placed his last bunch of kale.
Soon the smell of soup began to waft through the town and residents came with more gifts for the pot.
Imagine the lovely soup that was enjoyed by all.
This tale speaks of our tendency to hoard in times of deprivation. We tend to isolate ourselves and shut out others.
The story of stone soup allows us to see how we may deprive ourselves and everyone else of a feast.
This metaphor plays out beyond the realm of food. We may hoard ideas, energy and love thinking that we will be richer if we keep to them to ourselves.
Truth be told, we make the world and ourselves, poorer whenever we greedily stockpile our reserves. The stranger was able to see that the villagers were holding back. Thankfully he had the genius to draw them out and inspire them to give, thus creating a spread that none of them could have created alone.
So, come and join us for these "stone soup" days. Let us share ideas, love and energy and see what wants to be created.