I was just dining on my front porch earlier, too lovely of a warm spring day to go inside. The crickets are back, whirring their evening songs.
I find it easier to be mindful of my food when I eat outside. Way easier to be mindful when I’m not watching TV too 😉 When I eat mindfully, I consider where my food has come from, how many people helped it arrive here in my bowl tonight, and also, is it tasty? Do I like the texture?
I had combined some leftovers with some fresh ingredients, all mixed together: brown rice and peas, onion and garlic sautéed in butter, a little diced pork tenderloin Mark cooked on the grill a couple days ago. I enjoy combining textures and flavors. The peas were fresh and sweet. The rice, firm with just enough salt. What isn’t improved by an onion sautéed in butter?
I envisioned rice fields, Guatemalan gardens, a pig and a cow, that I hoped were able to enjoy the pleasures of their kind. And the people who brought me my dinner: the brewers in Pennsylvania. pickers, warehouse managers, truck drivers, stockboys, that young tattooed cashier, and the workers in the desalination plant that made the salt I sprinkled over it all.
All these plants and animals collected energy from the sun for my benefit here tonight. All the workers labored for my dinner tonight, here on the front porch at sunset with the crickets.
So to make all their journey and energy worth it, what can I do? A bit of yoga, a little tidying up my home, a little writing.
The crickets lead my evening hymns
The clock keeps rhythm
The lovely air conditioner hums along
My keystrokes a soft staccato
A deep breath , belly rising
The soft chair beneath me.
I am Loved.
My family is well.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of the wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
This morning as I hear the gentle surf in Saint Maarten, I marvel at the events of my life that made this trip possible. I shared morning coffee with my mother-in-law before she headed out to mass. Church bells chime the call of the faithful, but for me, the surf is enough of a sermon today – the aqua-blue sea my holy water.
I will let the peaceful sounds and beautiful sights soothe away my worries about my children and the crossroads they are approaching. I will breathe deeply and push aside thoughts of the troubles of the world that have made me grateful I canceled my newspaper subscription. Any ruminations of past offenses I will bury with my feet in the sand.
Water is my religion’s symbol of divine renewal. Today, I am baptized in the peace of wild things.