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Empowered : A day spent regaining vitality

Carly E. Dunnuck

Often I became deeply enamored by the human condition. I have an ancient need to “help,” to relieve others of their burdens, assuming them as my own. I willingly carry them with me everywhere I go. Collecting more and more by the day ignoring the gentle messages I receive urging me to slow down, to focus my energy inward.  I go along like this for varying amounts of time until I am inevitably stopped in my tracks.

I too easily forget that I am a vital being, and that I too, must spend time rekindling my internal flame. By returning home to my authentic self (via immersion in nature, rest, meditation, herbal medicine and homemade broths) I am healed. I am empowered.

August 22, 2017

Weak all over. Flu ridden. I gently lower the free-range, organic chicken carcass into the large grey stock pot. Next come fresh celery leaves, a handful of smashed, pungent, garlic cloves, onion skins, fennel fronds, carrot tops, fresh bay leaves and a heaping handful of fresh oregano picked just outside my window. I slowly pour cold filtered water over top, just enough to cover all the powerful goodness that lays below. While it gradually rises to a gentle boil, I sit at our vintage enamel table sipping freshly-steeped lemon balm tea. Patience. Admiring how our cool-to-the-touch, shiny white table contrasts the cedary warmth of our 1920’s log cabin. I can smell the pot of my dreams coming to a boil. I slowly stand, turn down the burner, give the contents a loving stir and set a mental timer for 4 hours. I am in no rush. What is time, anyways? I glance over at the cilantro, lime and watercress patiently awaiting its meeting with my homemade chicken stock. We are in this together.

Rising from my dream state, dosed with antiviral and immune-boosting herbal medicine,  I make my way back into the kitchen. With each step, the smell of poultry, herbs and vitality grows stronger. A smile reaches my mouth as I enter my kitchen, moving into my eyes-  confirming it is time. Mouth salivating, I use Becca’s wooden ladle and lower the silky iridescent goodness into my handmade mug. Enter a squeeze of lime, a generous portion of watercress and cilantro (that I cannot be bothered to chop), sprinkled from far above.  Three slow inhales through my nose, a genuine prayer of gratitude, and I sip. With each drop I become more whole.

As the base to a simple soup consisting of carrots, watercress, garlic, ginger and roasted chicken, the broth will live again, and so will I.


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