Sunday, January 22, 2006


today i cook. i chop fresh leeks and swiss chard, turn vegetables into broths, and boil white beans and black beans in separate pots. i cut parsley and peppers and measure oregano and thyme. i peel and slice bright green zucchini and open deep-colored eggplant and golden squash. my tomatoes become sauces rich with herbs and spices. i crush fresh walnuts and shred creamy white cheese. i bake pumpkin into breads and turn cornmeal into muffins. my kitchen is steamy and warm and fragrant as i prepare my food for the coming week. cooking has become a ritual, a meditation, a deep joy.

how can
it be we live in a culture that has nearly completely separated us from experiencing the source of our nutrition, the same nutrition that will become part of our own body. we don't plant or tend or harvest what we eat, we often don't prepare it with our own hands, and many of us do not consume it in its whole form. we are nearly completely separated from the heart of our food, our earth, our own selves. we have disordered eating and obesity and all manner of indigestion. we have depression and stress and uncertainty. we have lost the sense of being at home in our own skin.

i am intimate with the food i eat. i touch it. i clean it and open it and breathe it in. i prepare it and taste it and savor it as fully as i can. i spend time with it. i honor it and bless it and give thanks for it. and it returns to me the deepest health i have ever known.

and again i give thanks.

photography by permission graham jeffrey

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