The story is older than recorded history, but history does record it, over and over again. A special mother. A bigger than life father. A baby born into harsh circumstances, visited by special visitors who bring gifts or prophesy over his life, who grows into a Being who brings light, life and enlightenment to the world.
5000 years ago, it was Horus, born of Isis and Osiris. 3500 years ago, it was Dionysus, born of Semele and Zeus. 3000 years ago it was Consus, born of Ops and Saturn. 2500 years ago it was Siddhartha Gautama, aka, The Buddha, 2000 years ago it was Jesus, born of Mary and God (with Joseph standing in as adoptive father). There are others, but you get the point. There are many differences to their stories, but there are these striking similarities, too, not the least of which is that many of them are celebrated as being born around December 21, the Winter Solstice, the day in the year in the northern hemisphere that is the darkest day of the year and when the Sun was said to die and be reborn.
And so it just strikes me, while we ponder patterns of meaning, how much The Kitchen resembles birth places. Do we not bring the produce of the sky, earth and sea into our warm, protective kitchens and with time, care and attention bring forth new creations called food? Called nourishment? Called life for the living? Called light and comfort and care and sustenance in the dark of winter? On some level, isn’t this why we do all the baking, cooking and EATING that we do during the winter and especially around these holy days of the dying of the Sun and the rising of new light? We do in our kitchens what human beings have been memorializing in sacred stories for all of our history. We take the big, important stuff and bring it to a life form that will sustain us.
Emmanuel. God with us. In The Kitchen.
So, on this darkest day, longest night of the year, let us go into our kitchens and work some miracle of life, care and sustenance for ourselves, our loves and the strangers in our midst. Let’s find a way in whatever darkness that surrounds us to bring forth new life.
That’s our story. We’ve been telling it since before time.