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Eating in Gratitude

There is always so much to do. Many days, my to-do list seems to grow longer rather than shorter.  Lately, I have been finding myself mindlessly eating in front of my computer at lunch or skipping lunch all together.  Yesterday, I didn’t have time to eat lunch or dinner and I knew it was time for an intervention.

Today I packed some lettuce from my Angelic Organics CSA box and harvested some zebra tomatoes and purple peppers from the Learning Center garden.  I did not attempt to multi-task as I prepared my food.  Instead, I quieted myself and focused on the task at hand: washing the tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce, one by one.  Then, chopping each piece.  I washed the cutting board and the knife.  As I was fully present with the task, it wasn’t drudgery; it was my whole world at that moment.

The best part came as I took my farm-fresh salad to eat out on the deck of the straw bale farm office.  With each bite, my mouth burst with flavor and I was fed with gratitude and beauty in addition to the food itself. I felt a deep connection to the farm, as the food I was eating was grown from the soil here and many hands – from the farm, the Learning Center, and the many visitors - had helped to tend.  With each bite, I was communing with the sun, the soil, the rain, and the bacteria. 

A couple of times, my mind wandered to my to-do list and I caught myself starting to eat faster in order to return to my tasks, but then I slowed myself and focused on my surroundings.  I ate and I watched the Scottish Highland cows lazily grazing in the sunshine, the ducks Bert and Ernie waddling and chattering to each other below, and felt the strong warm breeze that was tinged with the crispness of autumn.  With that wind that shook the oak trees, I felt a surge of gratitude.  My heart was silently grateful for this beautiful, organic food, and the blessing to be a part of this whole farm community. 

Taking a half hour to prepare my food in silence, eat my food with mindfulness and purpose and open myself to the experience of the moment has left me satisfied in all ways.  For this abundance I say, “Thank you, more please.”

By Jessie Crow Mermel, Communications Coordinator & On Farm Educator