Let Nature Have a Chance.
I broke a 65 hour fast today- one that I haven’t done since last September. Most of them have been 40-44 hours, but none going into that third day. What I have realized and took note is the deep appreciation I have for the meal that I make when breaking this longer fast. You will read from all sides of the fasting community that gives you this advice also. Recognize the privilege from which you were able to have this intentional fast and be grateful for the food that is about to be consumed. Usually, I look at the food and am thankful for being able to eat this food, but today I took a few minutes to just look at it. To give thanks to each farmer who I know grew the food, to appreciate the hard work it takes to have chickens, and have livestock in humane and healthy conditions, to grow food in our local community, and I took time to know that this food is a blessing.
I was listening to a podcast that also talked about how we have lost this relationship to food. I am so glad that larger, more public personalities are shedding light on this. It is hard to be a small voice, with almost no platform to speak of these, but to know that this message is real and there are more out there who recognize this is rewarding. We have lost our connection to food, food practices, and the home arts of cooking food. We have outsourced and made this skill specialized and no longer value our own inherent abilities to nourish ourselves and our families. The shared meal is sacred. This is why so many cultures have this as a religious practice, and one that dominates their cultural value systems. From greeting a guest with a cup of tea, or bringing a homemade food when visiting someone, many people around the world recognize the symbolic nature of food as an offering and appreciation.
During this time of Lent, which also coincides this year with the start of Ramadan, it has made me aware of how spiritual fasting and eating is in a celebratory way. Abstaining from food especially in this historic time of abundance truly is a spiritual way to connect to our food- and by this I do mean not just what’s on our plate, but where it came from. During the pandemic, people became aware of gardening, about local farmers, about how difficult it is to live without many of the hidden people who do so much to get food to us, and for a very low cost. Now with prices rising, it saddens me that we complain rather than recognizing the efforts of these individuals and how they too struggle to meet the demands of the consumers. I’m not sure why we wait until things are so dire, but I wish people would learn to conserve, to use what they have and not waste 30% or more of the food they purchase. I wish people took time to volunteer at farms, food banks, food distributions, or just work in the food industry to know how things work. Food is life. I know people value money, but let’s face it you can’t eat money. Food is why we have the economy we have. Food is why we have built trade routes and colonized, conquered and pillaged. Food is a huge part of the economic industry, global economy, and also sadly, one of the biggest contributors to our current situation with climate change. I’ve been at this issue of climate related geo-political, economic, and planetary health and welfare since I was an early teen. I never took it into the science realm because I didn’t see it as a field. It was a “hippie” thing to do and one that didn’t seem of importance to everyone around me. So, I chose the education route. Regretting it deeply now I wish to continue this mission still through education, food and health. There’s so much to talk about. There’s so much to learn, but more importantly, there’s so much to do, and act quickly. Time is not on our side. I just heard that the technology exists to help slow these effects of climate change, but it’s the human desire to make these changes in a timely manner that is lacking. So, I am adding my voice to the few other small voices out there. I’m adding it to create a chorus that hopefully will resonate in the back of people’s minds. I’m hoping to be that voice in your head when you feel you can make a more ethical and mindful choice. I’m hoping the more small voices will reach the larger ones who can truly act and make bigger changes.
How do you start? Start by learning more. Turn off the Kardashians, the home improvement shows, the things that make you want more. Turn off your desire to consume, and hone into your primal ways of conserving. Yes, this is actually in our DNA, we know how to conserve our energy, our bodies know to store sugar for the periods of famine, it is part of who we are. So, tap into this inner strength. No, you don’t have to begin to fast and go into this journey, but pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to accept challenging conditions in life will enable you to tap into your innate strength to conserve.
If we are to let nature have a chance, then we have to learn to do with a little less.