I wake early, if only to stand before my kitchen window, with my coffee in hand and witness the waking of the sun. It is as if its future rests on my acknowledgment and childish delight. As if the day won’t unfold as it should, until I say good morning to my sweet simple life with the upmost gratitude. I need that quiet morning time to give thanks and to receive blessing. I need to free myself of expectation at the start of each day so I can butter my toast and take a hot shower without assumption or entitlement. Even the most basic necessities are blessings. Time being another, and I am blessed with lots of it. This commitment to seeing joy in the mundane and blessing in the most obvious, has quickly become infectious, addictive, and my new rhythm. My cup is full and I want it to overflow to others. I want it to overflow onto their plates as we gather around our table. I want them to taste beauty and crave more of it, so they too will want to harvest the goodness. I want them to eat and be intoxicated with this enthusiasm for the mundane, the gratitude for the everyday.
I believe food can help cultivate this joy and gratitude. To meditate on tasting, chewing, swallowing, digesting is to invite it in. Nourishing our bodies is so basic that I can’t help but see how our relationship with food connects to the rest of life. The way I prepare meals says something about what I value. How, what, where I eat and even the way I wash dishes says something too. It might sound silly or forced to put so much meaning behind something so basic. I just can’t help but draw the connection in my own life. I see how slowing down, because of both choice and circumstance, has completely transformed me. When I use my hands to create something that sustains my family and friends, there is deep purpose and life makes sense. When I am removed from this process I look around and see a chaotic and complicated world, with little understanding of where I fit. Cooking and all that surrounds it has become my catalyst for processing life, the way dance has always been. I will always be a mover and I will also need to process in that way, but as a wife and mama, cooking is my constant, my everyday means to find joy. Even more, it is my everyday opportunity to bless and be blessed.