This process of even just beginning to think about taking responsibility for my food supply is fascinating.
Something clicked in my mind last night while I was reading a book, Blessed Unrest, by Paul Hawkins. The author was talking about food and regional cultural identities:
Food has always been at the heart of cultural identity. The loss of its traditional foods is just as devastating to a culture as the loss of its language. Although globalization has caused havoc in all areas in every country, slow movements are not anti-globalization; they are pro-localization. Savoring something--a spice, a radish, a piece of cheese—brings us back home to the world in which we walk and breathe. It slows us down. Taste is social. We come together, sit and talk together around food; we clink glasses and laugh and engage in small gossips and whispers in the presence of local beers or wines, tisanes and small cakes with gooseberry preserves and clotted creams, or thin wafers bearing full-fatted cheeses daubed with slices of purple figs. It is how we share being alive. We can engage in the virtual world of iPod music and TV drama, but there is no virtual world of taste. It is in our mouth, and everyday our mouth connects us to place.
My connection to the land has always been so important to me. We literally are one with the land and the land shapes us. What clicked for me is that until now I’ve been missing a very vital aspect of this connection: food! When we lived close to nature and experienced oneness and rootedness and a sense of place, we were literally being sustained by the land. We were becoming one with the land by eating it, bringing it into our bodies, turning it into our flesh!
The earth fed itself to the plants and we fed on the plants. By eating locally, our place became literally a part of us. How beautifully grounding!
Nowadays, we rootless nomads eat foods from thousands of miles away, from sterile soils in hundreds of different places. We’re not products of our local ecosystems, we’re foreign invaders who remain separate and uninvolved.
I became really moved last night thinking about growing my own food. It’s a way to honor the earth and this place, to be a part of nature again. And I was moved just thinking about my first batch sprouts—how miraculous new life is!
I felt such an overwhelming love for the land and again, like when I was a teenager, I felt the urge to hug the earth. A really deep feeling of peace and contentment washed over me, as if my whole body and soul let out the deepest sigh. I keep getting closer and closer to the real essence of life! I love this process.
Still I feel like I’m being remade. Each passing month brings new realizations and new subtle changes. Bit by bit it’s all adding up (to what I don’t know).