Last night I made split pea soup and cornbread. It reminded me of being little and eating things that came out of a cast iron pot. The color that lentils get from a cast iron pot is dark and stony. Lentils, beans, split pea soup, chili beans...we ate lots of soup like that. The kind of soup that is thick and comforting, and fills your belly and makes you feel at home. I don't have a cast iron pot- so when I make these things, they don't look the same. They taste good and homey though. I remember coming home from school on a cold wet day in November and smelling soup that had been on the stove all day. It is nice for a kid to come home and feel like someone's been there, keeping it warm and clean and smooth.
I also remember running wild in those early fall evenings. When the days were warm, but the evenings got chilly. I can so clearly remember the feeling of running in the back door for dinner, three steps to the kitchen door and inside. The warmth and light made my whole body tingle from being barefoot and cold and dirty, breathing hard from playing. That also was a wonderful feeling. It is good to have these nice warm memories of childhood. I like the sensation of remembering the smells and feelings, games and toys. Children just don't play outside here the way we did where we lived. When I was in the backyard, I felt like I was in my own world. Independent, creative, safe. It's a wonderful thing.