I never felt that connected with food. Purchased in cans and boxes and often via a drive-thru window, I didn't care much about its past--only that it tasted good and was handled safely. Now, eating wholesome, nutritious meals is a full-time job, and with that job comes a profound gratitude for the people and the products that are helping me heal.
People like the Strawberry Lady who for two decades ran Pappy's Patch so I could enjoy red, vine-ripened smoothies. Or, appliances like my Vitamix that chop, dice, and slice when my fingers no longer can. They are a large part of my life--and a small part of a bigger net that has softened a very hard fall.
This afternoon, as I eat my $10 organic chicken, I am overwhelmed with appreciation; for the bird who gave its life, for the farmer who cared enough to feed it grains--rather than plump it with hormones and chemicals, and for the machine that allows me to mince carrots, celery, and onions with just the touch of a button.
It is a new feeling to have so much love for things that don't talk:
Although I am not Buddhist, I offered a special prayer before cooking that bird today.
God, thank you for this bird's life. Please watch over all those who cared for it and let my actions be worthy of having it in my body.
Altered Today: Gratitude for food, people, gadgets, and gluten-free rice pasta. Comfort in the little things. Meats and vegetables into soups and stews. New prayers of thanks.