The Girl Who Made Milkweed Soup

Mountain walk in early spring. It looks like a Safeway the night before a blizzard. All the shelves are empty – barren trees, grey and brown. A few half-eaten berries on a branch. Nothing remains.

As a very young girl, growing up in Michigan, winters were long. As soon as the snow began to melt, I hurried out to work the dirt, making Milkweed Soup to bring back the spring colors, bring back the leaves, bring back the flowers. The earth answered me with the song of daffodils.

But childhood and adolescent wounds caught me. I lost the power to bring back the colors, and forgot the simple beauty of daffodils. My body became a womb of despair.

Then one day, when I was already a mother of four, I heard the words of my teacher.

And he reminded me of the power of Milkweed Soup. And that the seed of corn already knows how to become a corn plant. I always knew this and I didn’t know it.

The seed of joy was watered in me, now, and began to flower freely.

I walk again on the rotting leaves. And even in the grey world, I see colors and sunlight on every tree, and the sparkle of rain to come. I see buds bursting and birds nesting. I know the meaning of Milkweed Soup. And I am happy. Again.