Dear January…

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Bradley Robertson

By ROBERTSON

Happy New Year everyone. I’ve decided to use this space to honor one of my favorite months of the year, January. For years, I have loved the peace and calm of this month along with its soup, its fire place and its rest that it brings into our home. If your January feels blue, I hope I can turn your perspective into something new.

Dear January,

Wow! I am so very thankful you have arrived. You have no clue how much I have missed you.

I think the last calm spell we had was perhaps June, but since August, when the kids started back to school, it’s been all wild and bananas up in here. Between school and cheerleading games and horse roping and farm life and late-night chats and holidays and meals and birthdays, there just isn’t much space for rest.

Oh, but you January, you slip right in after the season of parties and gifts and Jesus and you know just what we need. We need you. We need calm and we need soup, lots and lots of warm soup to nourish our body and soul. It’s like you call us in to hibernate like a bear, to snuggle up and get cozy and have a little QT with time itself.

How do you do it January? When all the other months of the year require something extra from us, how did you decide to be the odd ball out? Maybe this is why I like you so much, as I myself have always felt to be quit different than everyone else. But not as different as you.

You January, surpass us all.

You give us a clean slate to start something new. You give us no agenda, accept what we put on ourselves. You give us cold temperatures, so we can huddle up inside and build fires. You give us rest and time for reflection. You inspire us to cook all the warm meals and you even condition us to stay home. That’s genius.

It’s like you’re saying, “Come, cook, sit, eat and be together. I promise you, it is a holy place for everyone.”

And you don’t rush us, you don’t tap your clock like a watchman. You don’t even require our attention. We can do absolutely nothing in you January, and you don’t mind it one bit.

However, I do think you ask of us just one thing, to embrace you for who you really are. You are the beginning. You are something new. You are the rest before a busy year. You are the frost on the ground. You are the still, so we can hope. You are fires and blankets and snuggles in the bed with books and soft chatter. You are time standing still, to reflect on what has been and make way for what can be.

You own me January, you own my whole year. So I will embrace you. I will soak up every hour of you. And when you are gone, I will be ready for whatever is to come in 2022.

Yours fondly,

Bradley

P.S. I named a new soup after you (January Soup). I’m sharing it below, so that maybe it will warm you too, just as you warm me. 

JANUARY SOUP:

  • 1 diced medium onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 lb flavored sausage
  • 8-10 cups chopped greens (kale, collards, mustards)
  • 2 cups diced potatoes or turnip root
  • 10-12 cups of water

Sautee onion and garlic with olive oil over medium heat 12 minutes. Add in carrots and sautee 15 more minutes. Add in sausage. Cook till its brown. Add in water. Bring to light boil. Add in greens and potatoes. Salt well. Simmer over medium-low heat about 30 minutes.

Thank you January, thank you for everything.

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