Thanksgiving is next week. I think I saw some turkey plates and napkins last night at an undisclosed shopping center (you know, the one done up in red and white with bulls eyes on every tag?) Honestly, I didn't let it bother me. I love Thanksgiving. I love Christmas. I'm glad they happen within a month of each other. It's nice to feel like I have two months of celebrating to do. Of course, I like to count Halloween in with the holiday festivities and if you tag on New Year's you have four holidays together that are all about fun, gathering together, and food.
Ah, yes. Food. Nourishment. Sustenance. These are the words that spring to mind when I see a plate of homemade pasta, a bubbling cauldron of stew, a loaf of bread still warm and steamy from the oven. What does not come to mind is anything wrapped in plastic, cardboard, or housed in a freeze dried box. That's called eating on the fly. Sadly, it's what most of us have come to regard as "lunch" and "dinner".
I've said this before (and I'll probably say it again): I know life has become hectic. There are so many out there who long for a slower pace but are unable, for whatever reason, to attain it at the moment. And yes, there are those who don't want it. I think they just haven't slowed down long enough to know they want it, but I digress :)
There are things about my own life I cannot change right now. I work in an office with wonderful people but I am a slave to my desk and a wringing, impatient phone. The calls are 7 times out of 10 wrought with frustration, impatience and annoyance. I understand business must go on. But so does life.
I eat at my desk. My break doesn't come until 3 and my metabolism will not allow me to wait that long to eat. So my lunch is usually punctuated with the shrill ringing of phone and the request from a co-worker. For thirty minutes every day, I get to breathe. If it's sunny (or moderately dry) I go outside and I do not care how hot or cold it is. I need the fresh air, the sunlight, the misty rain on my lips and fingertips. I need to partake of something sustaining. Food nourishes the body; nature nourishes the soul.
Not only are we running at break neck speed, past healthy meals and communion around the table, we are blind to the beauty around us. There are acres of trees changing garments, showing off and showing out before they don their drab, peasants' garb of winter. Do we see the tree aflame in the early morning light? Do we see the field awash in a silver mist? Or do we only see brake lights, hear horns honking, feel anger and possibly rage?
Guilty. Loud gets noticed. It's a pitiful fact. Throw a fit and the world will know about it. Weep behind locked doors and no one will be the wiser, coming to you the minute you emerge with problems of their own.
There is strength in silence, my friend. Strength to be found in the peaceful hours before dawn, in the stirring of a pot of homemade tomato sauce, in partaking of bread and wine with a loved one. Would I love to do this every day? Make a home cooked meal, grind my own wheat for a fresh loaf of bread once a week? Roll out my lasagna noodles on my counter instead of dumping them from a box? You bet I would. But I have yet to reach that point in my life. Until then (and yes, I will make it there), I set aside one afternoon a week in which to make a life. One afternoon, after work, for kneading and stirring and chopping and cork-popping. It makes an ordinary day seem extraordinary. And for a few, blissful hours I can sip of what will be.
*image found here