As a seeker of awen, I have to admit that divine inspiration often arrives in the unlikeliest of forms – at least in my life. So, for the sake of humour, I thought I’d share the deep spiritual experience that my breaktime snack instilled in me this afternoon.
This story comes with the disclaimer that I have been a little lax this week; lacking the time or energy to make and bring healthier food to work, I found myself mid-afternoon with a grumbling stomach and only a newsagent open to offer a snack. I bought myself a cereal bar (it seemed the least worst option), took a bite and walked back towards the library.
Sudden slowness infused everything I did. I stepped across the warm concrete paving of the quad. Step, step. I felt the breeze ruffle my hair, small traces of the currents ridden by the seagulls overhead. Cautiously, I dissolved my boundaries a little; felt the warm sunshine in the green veins of the birch leaves in the quad, the focus of the busy ants nearby, the age and the size of the ground beneath my feet connecting everything that lives upon the earth. Connecting me (above the prophylaxes of my rubber soles) to the soil that had nurtured the nuts and the seeds I was eating. I could taste each nut, each seed. Contained within them, the memory of a whole life – a tree grown from green shoot to fruiting maturity; the cycle of a year’s rain and sunshine incubated in this growing expression of a hazel, an almond, a coconut. Even the dark chocolate tasted of the life of the cacao bush, rooted in rich earth and well-watered with tropical rains. Each mouthful was delicious gratitude.
I took a moment, too, to be thankful for every botanical garden I have ever visited, plant-lover that I am. They offered a chance to connect with the global plants from which our everyday food is sourced now.
It is harvest, after all. May you never hunger.