I glance out the window above my sink and try not to grimace.
The sun shines warm, but the view is undeniably winter. Crusty snow blankets the landscape, and the only colors I see are the blue of the sky and the steady green of the pines.
I unwrap the beef roast and feel for bones. Six months ago, before the snow fell and winter descended, this slab of fat and muscle was living creature. It lived not far from me, raised by a friend. I wonder: Did this animal stop chewing the verdant grass sometimes and just praise from a simple heart? Did it drink in the sunshine and the gentle breeze and feel satisfied? "I was made to do this."
When you eat flesh that was slaughtered just for you, it makes it all personal. Like the people native to this land, I find myself deeply grateful for this sacrifice, for this death so that I might live. I breathe thank you, thank you, thank you.
I carve the beef into chunks and marvel at the pure white of the fat and I pull out an oval-shaped something that is spongy and contained. It doesn't look edible, yet I feel guilty throwing it away.
I dice onion and peel carrots and stir them into warm olive oil shimmering on the stove. The skillet sizzles to life and the familiar, comforting aroma fills the kitchen. The smell of onions cooking makes me feel satisfied. "I was made to do this." A symbol of my tending to, of my love for my family. Symbolic. A small thing that whispers of the greater.
I add the softened vegetables to the beef and stir in crushed tomatoes, some chicken broth, some salt, some pepper. I smash three garlic cloves beneath the flat of my knife and I peel off the paper that's now cracked, and I add the broken cloves to my stew.
From death, life. We are nourished because of the breaking.
I do this in remembrance.
Spring will come. Winter never wins.
Linking up with Heather because her call to JustWrite made me JustWashMyHands and sit down at the computer for five minutes to capture how I prepare.