Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The lunch that launched a memory

This morning I'm suddenly remembering the best bowl of soup I ever ate. It was something gumbo-esque, I think, with a tomato base and vegetables and some sort of meat. What made the soup great, though, was not inside the bowl.

I was sitting at an outdoor table at a cafe in Devonport, a brief ferry-ride from Auckland. It may have been my final day in Auckland, a day I'd spent mostly on foot, walking around the quaint seaside village and hiking around the cones of extinct volcanoes. It was July (what year? 2012 or 13?) and therefore winter, with a cold, damp breeze blasting roses into my cheeks from one direction while bright sunlight roasted me from another. 

I sat outside that small cafe resting my sore feet while sipping my soup and contemplating how far I'd come, not just walking all over Auckland but traveling across the world to give a paper at a conference and spend an extra week doing research on Maori literature and culture. I didn't need extinct volcanoes to tell me I wasn't in Ohio anymore.

Today I wish I could have some of that soup, or if not the soup itself then the sense of adventure that served as a side-dish. Living too complacently at the intersection of Love-My-Job Lane and Hate-My-Office Avenue, I want to escape to a place I've never seen, walk streets my feet don't know, feel unfamiliar breezes on my face, and drink my fill of soup that warms me inside and out.

Today's lunch is as forgettable as yesterday's, but it keeps me going until the time when I can find some more of that elusive Adventure Soup. Will someone please send the recipe?    

1 comment:

radagast said...

Mmmm. Soup. I once had a bowl of clam chowder in Mystic, Connecticut that was so wonderful I've been searching for its like since, unsuccessfully. Of course, I'm sure I've romanticized its wonderfulness, given it mystic properties, as it were.