It appears my new co-workers have me figured out. Today, after examining my lunch, one of them commented, "you're kind of a throwback...a back to the earth kind of person".
Contents of the lunch? A farmers market orange. Homemade tomato-basil soup. Homemade vegan coleslaw. Slice of homemade bread.
I can (and have) said a lot about the economic, political, environmental, and spiritual reasons why I want to be as involved as possible in what I eat. But beneath all of that, there's what it does for me emotionally. In my considerable moving around in the last four years, I've noticed my first instinct after a move or a long trip is to cook. Something about stirring a pot of soup or kneading a loaf of bread helps gather all the pieces of me scattered in transition.
I'm finding I need that gathering now more than ever - new place, new job, new roommate, to be followed in about four months by another new place, new job, new roommate. Even the very space I live in is in transition - an extended-stay housing complex with constant turnover.
This past Sunday afternoon, I got to spend part of an afternoon manually prepping beds (read: scraping in the dirt with a hoe) on a local organic farm. As the farmer was showing me how to break up the soil, she described it as a form of meditation. By the end of my two hours, I had the beginnings of my old farming calluses, sore shoulders, one blister, and a deep sense of contentment and happiness that I've been missing in Phoenix.
I also had a very generous bag of free produce: