I have stories running through my head all the time. One recent story involves a man and a woman. They are beginning a relationship, and they each have very different attitudes towards food. The man sees food as a necessity, but he doesn’t like to think too much about preparing it, or even eating it. He likes convenience. He likes to get on with his day. He can’t be bothered to cook from scratch, or linger over a meal.
The woman is a true sensualist. For her, food is magical. It is life. She enjoys the entire process: Planting seeds, nurturing crops, harvesting. Storage, putting food by, maintaining a full pantry. When she prepares food, she does it with love. Her hands are like energetic instruments, infusing her food with precious medicine for body and soul. She combines ingredients like an artist, paying attention to colour, texture and flavour. She balances sweet and sour, bitter and salty. She nibbles and tastes. She tweaks.
She arranges everything with an intense attention to detail. The table is set for pleasure, for atmosphere. She blesses her food. She welcomes it into her body. She enjoys her companions. She clears away the food and plates with purpose and patience.
As the couple shops and eats food together for the first time, the man realizes that he is in the presence of an appreciation of food that is completely alien to him. He eats. She is fed.
Do the activities in your life – especially your practice of ritual, if you have one – do they feed you? Or do you just eat?