"Let there be in your heart a song for each cup."
Yes, The Prophet. This book has so much to give. Have you read it? If not, I highly recommend it.
Today I gave endless Thanks for the bounty that created my meals. The bread, the milk, the potatoes, the coconut milk. All of it I ate with wonder and gratitude in my heart. Now, I will admit, I was half way through my meal at times before I remembered to give thanks, but I remembered nonetheless.
My first reaction this morning, was, well.......I couldn't think about eating meat. I couldn't bring myself to think about the process which takes place to create, say, breakfast sausage. Or a ham roast, or lunch meat......I just couldn't do it. So I didn't consume any meat today. And really, that's just fine with me. Maybe vegetarianism isn't too far from my view.
I ate today and thought about the process which took place. For example.....I had coconut milk ice cream today. And I quietly pondered the coconuts, the machines, the people running the machines, the people selling the ice cream. I hoped that the people working for this company were happy and taken care of. I hoped that the coconuts felt that they were appreciated for their gift. Its a strange thought process to have before a meal, but an important one. It makes the reality of food, the food industries, the farmers, the animals, that much more real when you consider the bounty and the sacrifice. We don't see everyday the goings on that takes place. Most of us just shop and eat and never bat an eye. Well.....its time to bat those eyes. Michael Pollan states that "Because most of what we're consuming today is not food, and how we are consuming it - in the car, in front of the television, and increasingly alone - is not really eating. Instead of food, we're consuming "edible food like substances" - no longer the products of nature but of food science." So, yes.....I may be becoming a little more thoughtful of what I put in my body, and rightfully so. I am pretty keen on keeping my kids in line, but myself......I'm all about convenience. Even our dinner meal tonight, there was no meat, but it was all processed, tofu, potato things. Oh and peas, but I forgot those on the stove! So.....this lesson has definitely reminded me that I need to be A LOT more conscious of what I eat and what I prepare for my family. How can I expect change to come when I'm not keeping our bodies nourished at their optimum levels?
The bottom line "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
I'm still waiting for my books, so......I guess I will continue on with another lesson from The Prophet.
"And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship. And he answered, saying: Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with Thanksgiving."
Friendship. I haven't had many friends in this last decade simply because I've been having babies and making a home. There are a handful of folks that I will indeed call my friend. One is of course, my husband, then there is a lovely lady I've known since high school, the other is her mother, the next is my teacher,then another lovely lady whom I've recently become friends with (we're still in the getting to know eachother phase), and last but not least, my sisters. These people are the ones I confide in. Cry with. Cuss with. Celebrate with. Take care of. Let them take care of me. Its an even trade all the way around. We show up for each other when ever, needed or not. A simply hello is just as welcomed and needed as an I love you. There are no borders between us and life strings as all together like pearls. Its really quite beautiful to think about.
"And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also."
"And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
So.....to honor those I call my friends....well, I would strive to treat them like family. Give them my very best at all costs. Create for them that which they create for me. I could only hope to be as giving and gracious and considerate as those friends in my life. And I will. I will shower them with the love and gratitude that they so surely deserve. Without reservation. Without hesitation. And when I feel as if I don't have enough to give, well.....I will try harder. What is a life without dear ones to call your own. Whether through friends or family or pets or plants or whatever it is we have that is dear. Let us be filled with GRATITUDE for their presence and be reminded that they, too, are grateful for ours.
Have you ever just baked a batch of cookies and brought them to your neighbor? Or sat and had a cup of unrushed coffee with your partner? Have you ever been able to offer up your services to help someone in need, maybe help with yard work, or fixing a broken gutter, or helping an older member of the community get out of their home for a few hours. These are also things that cross my mind when I think of friendship. We are not only here for those in our lives but also to those around our lives. Giving of ourselves is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Its something we can do that doesn't require any expectation. It's done freely and at will. Volunteering somewhere and helping out. Our neighbors. Treat our neighbor as we wish to be treated. What you give is what you get. What comes around goes around. So.....for all that we would strive to do for our friends, family and selves.....why not those we might call strangers? Why not touch the life of someone not so familiar......it will change their life as much as it would change our own. And there's no strings attached. Just the simple gift of generosity.
My family experienced that this Christmas. We have been struggling to get up on our feet,and of course it was through the Christmas holiday. Boy.....it sure did create some stress and anxiety and tears. But.....we received SO MANY GIFTS!!!!And we didn't even ask. Our friends and family and even some folks we don't know all came together for us. Not just with toys and clothes for the children, but food for our pantry and books to read. Money to keep our larders full and HOPE IN OUR HEARTS!!!! It was such a humbling time but an oh, so beautiful time. To be on the receiving end of such heartfelt, selfless generosity is so honoring. We were truly honored and blessed. So, I very much look forward to sharing those gifts and when we are able, to giving it back to another family. Or to whom ever may need it. Life reflects alot about how we treat each other.
Go out into the world with peace. Treat no one evil for evil. Strengthen the weak hearted and comfort the afflicted. Make certain in your heart that God would use you to be a light unto the world. Have faith in that, and know that you are loved and cared for and taken care of.
Be a Light in the world. Be that beacon we all search for and need. To all that cross our path.
"Be the Change you wish to see in the World."
~ Until tomorrow dear void, or to anyone that might be listening!
"Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "NOW thyself" is more important than "Know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful." ~ Mel Brooks