Salty Snippet April 2023
The weather had been cold and wet, with a dark heaviness over the world all day. I tried to fall asleep, but only negative feelings came up no matter what I thought about. A yard of dandelions turning to seed, all lying flat and ugly against the wet grass – my responsibility. The War in Ukraine going on and on and on. There’d been bad news for someone I cared about. Long list of people who’d been shot today or recently. Unfinished projects all over my house. “Stuff” everywhere – endless too-much stuff. Aches and pains in my aging body. I could not find something positive to land on and enable me to relax.
Finally, I found it! I always remember my surprise and complete pleasure when I was visiting in Sweden and was served warm pink fruit soup. Small amounts of dried fruits were the contents, tapioca was the soft base, and all was colored clear pink and served warm. I’d never experienced anything so heavenly. I’ve often remembered that amazing experience – how soothing it had felt to me. So now as I surveyed my world of experience looking for a positive something to grab onto, I found the memory of warm pink soup brought a smile to my spirit and even my body.
Here a friend reminds me of the currently popular Danish word “hygge” (pronounced hoo ga):
“1. The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive.
2. To create well-being. Connection and warmth. 3. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. 4. Celebrating the everyday.”
[from the description of Danish slippers called Glerups]
Danish slippers, Swedish fruit soup, those Scandinavians know ways to take care of their weary spirits! I began to feel better as I lay in bed holding that memory of warm pink soup; I felt I was floating in it.
Then I thought to add another good thing – “Goodness!” A person came to my mind; she is “Goodness” walking around; she lives the spirit of warm pink soup! I’m not sure how to define this well. It’s not that this person never gets upset: she could get very angry at people who hurt animals and little children. But she always glows with a calm, slow, warmth. She took in greyhound dogs who would have been “put to sleep” after running all their lives for human pleasure; she took them in and gave them the loving retirement they deserved. She had a reliable humility, was open to correction, yet faced life with responsibility and courage, both gentle and strong.
I began to search through my memories of other people I’ve known in my many years of living. I would say most people I call friends are all good people! To many friends I would add complimentary clarifying adjectives; to only a few could I apply the sole label of “Goodness.” I double-checked this. Surely X or Y, people I love and respect, could deserve this title? No, the word belonged to a select few. Perhaps it is a combination of humility and courage that combines into something like “reliable and peaceful integrity.” These people have a quiet but always-present radiance.
With that handful of people who are “Goodness” added to the bodily memory of warm pink soup – I began to feel a sense of safety return about “life”. I kept repeating “Warm pink soup really does exist, and so does Goodness!.” I repeated the names of the people who radiated this spirit. My body felt safe in the world again and I fell blissfully asleep. -Marti Matthews, April 18, 2023