Just as the glorious and life-giving sunlight abounds ripening the summer corn in our wonderfully delicious soup, the light of love within us provides sustenance and illumination; and yet, it requires courage to emanate that light, so that it may never be diminished.
The radiating and generously warming sunlight of summer nourishes, invigorates, and awakens the soul.
It causes the delicious foods of the season—sweet corn, peppers, fresh herbs—to grow to their perfected and delicious peak; to be combined and simmered gently in a Summer Corn Soup with Shrimp that feeds and nourishes a hungry soul that longs for a simple, home-cooked meal.
The light causes all things that it falls upon to be strengthened, to grow, and to flourish, as numerous magnificent and miraculous little processes unseen to the naked eye occur in response to its merciful encouragement that prompts all things to live and to thrive.
And in a world where there is also an ample amount of darkness, and where making progress and staying hopeful and joyful can be quite the feat, standing in the light of our Creator, by way of those loving human beings we have in our midst, while also seeking out and nurturing the light within our self, is one of the most important things one can pursue, and pursue with wild fervor.
Life utterly depends on light.
It reveals the truth and exposes the illusions; it invites the love and banishes the hatred.
It warms all who step into it, and unveils the best, most shimmering and pure parts of ourself to the world in order that those things may then be witnessed and shared.
We need to strengthen that light and support it, and never allow for it to be bullied into submission or snuffed out, or to be slowly dimmed until is disappears and is gone; because that, precisely, is what the darkness wants.
The darkness, the negativity, yearns for nothing more than to envelope and steal away all hope and ability to see the goodness; it longs for nothing more than to whisk away the joy in sharing kindness and mercy, and to dash out the hope in what the next moment holds.
There are many times when it would be easier (or more convenient) to hide the light that radiates out from within us, or to turn it off, as light in a dark place undoubtedly draws attention; and that attention can come in the forms of criticism, belittling, shaming, and slander.
And certainly, we have all experienced the sting of those wasps at some point, the degradation of a genuine effort to do some good.
See, it takes courage to turn up the light within to “high”, and let it radiate freely and without constraint, to be shed upon all things revealing the truth that needs to be revealed.
It takes courage to choose to do what your heart knows to be true and good, in the spirit of unification and of mending the holes; and to remember where the light came from, from Whom the light came, and cherish and cling to it as if it were the only thing we have.
Because, indeed, it is.
Without the light, we fumble and fall.
I need your light, and you need mine.
And may we never allow it to be diminished, blown out and extinguished—not for anyone or anything.
Taste what's good and pass it on.
Summer Corn Soup with Shrimp
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4-6
• 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
• Black pepper
• Red pepper flakes
• 2 teaspoons paprika, divided use
• Canola oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
• 2 ribs celery, diced small
• 1 russet potato, peeled and diced small
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• Kernels of 4 ears of fresh corn (about 3 cups of kernels)
• 4 cups warm chicken stock
• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
• Avocado slices, for garnish
-In a bowl, combine the shrimp with a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and the paprika, plus a small drizzle of oil, and toss to coat; marinate for a few minutes.
-Place a medium soup pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons of the oil; once the oil is hot, add in the shrimp in a single layer (work in batches, if necessary) and allow it to sear on the first side for about 1-2 minutes; then flip over and sear for another minute, or until the shrimp is golden brown; repeat with remaining shrimp, and hold the shrimp in a bowl.
-To the same pot add in the butter plus another tablespoon or two of the oil, and once melted together, add in the diced onion, red bell pepper, and celery, and stir to combine; add in a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and sauté for a few minutes until slightly softened.
-Add in the diced potato and the garlic and stir, and once the garlic is aromatic, add in the tomato paste and stir to combine, cooking it for a moment.
-Add in the corn kernels, then add the warm chicken stock, stir, and allow the soup to very gently simmer, covered, for about 22-25 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
-Off the heat, add back into the pot the seared shrimp, along with the parsley and the cilantro, and check to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed (or even red pepper flakes, if you like it spicy); serve with a few avocado slices, if desired.