The other night it was in my bones to make caldo de pollo and feel that warmth again—the warmth that I felt with my first bowl in Santiago, Chile over two years ago. The warmth of feeling completely content, of being enough, of simply just being—sitting, breathing, smiling, slurping. The refuge found in a bowl of homemade chicken soup, the feeling of being taken care of, of being loved. The feeling of home.
It’s amazing how a particular smell or feeling or color can transport you back in time to a faraway place that now is just a distant memory, or perhaps, it’s not-so-distant from us afterall. Perhaps these memories manifest themselves in our bones, in our hearts, in each one of our cells; memories making a home in our subtle bodies. Memories reminding us that we are all connected, that we are One, that perhaps things aren’t as far, or as separate, as we believe them to be. That even the physical space between us, between you and I, is an illusion; the space between me and that bowl of soup in Santiago is not really as far as the world map makes it out to be.
Working from memory I made my own rendition of caldo de pollo— I let the garlic, onions, potatoes, zucchini, chicken thighs and chicken legs simmer and stew on the stove. I threw in some jalapeno for an added kick and some left-over chayote that I had in the fridge. The end result was a delicious soup that brought me back to that space I call home.
Here is a poem by the incredible Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. Enjoy.
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:
where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.