The light, slowly returning


The season of feasting is over.

Cold winds send chills down spines. The days are grey, brailled with routine.

Students are colourful, noisy, minds toned and flexible. Whatever it is about the institution that drains, pains, or even hurts, falls away as I enter the classroom. Books open up, deeply. Theories shimmer like motes in the sun. Why is it that I appreciate teaching so much lately?

The city beckons, even in all this cold. I am full of desires for theatre, for walking to neighbourhood moviehouses, for skating in the park. At the same time that I long to cocoon, spend precious liesure time only alone, or only with those I love.


Friendships seem fragile as glass these days.

Tomorrow, I will make soup, perhaps a fruit crisp, too. A friend from out of town will come to stay for a few days and already I am planning the meals we will eat.

The days grow incrementally longer. Who knows what the future holds. Some mornings, my cat finds what sunlight she can, out on the porch, and lies there, very still.


Minestrone Soup

This one of those soups you can make on Sunday and eat all week. Its flavour improves with each passing day.

Serves six.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 can tomatoes or 6 or 7 large fresh tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 small eggplant, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cold water
2 tbslpns. tomato paste
1 tspn salt
½ tspn pepper
1 tbsp oregano or basil, dried or fresh
1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 12-oz can kidney beans
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
handful parsely, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (optional)

In a deep pot over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic, eggplant, and carrot in olive oil until everything is tender. Add water, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and herbs, and slowly bring to boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat and let simmer for approximately twenty minutes. Add kidney beans and potatoes and simmer on low heat for about another twenty minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Serve in soup bowls sprinkled with Romano cheese, some crusty bread on the side.


  1. It’s interesting that the photos in this post are so similiar to the ones in the earlier post about mushroom soup with Jane Rule in the Gulf Islands of BC. The images are all of grey winter paths toward a hot soup. Now the deliveryboy reader craves some colour, some pizzazz, something unexpected in the gloom of another winter spent surging a war , something deeply troubling to the trajectory of that rugged path.

  2. The soup is one of my favourites — and I’m not a soup person. I can leave out the ingredients that I don’t like (peppers, parsley, eggplant, too many onions) and it still tastes wonderful. I always make a huge batch and then freeze leftovers in individual containers for eating when I don’t have time to cook (most of the time).

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