Feeding Love

Lately, I have been cooking a lot. Don and I have moved to plant-based eating. My kitchen is full of vegetables and new cookbooks. Cooking had become routine and boring to me. Now I am excited to make new recipes.

There are many reasons for this choice, staying well and the health of the planet are the two most motivating factors. It’s one small contribution that can make a big difference. As I prepare, cook, and serve our food, I am “in love.”

Sadly, love is missing in so much of what surrounds us these days. When I read Laura Jane Mellencamp’s blog I felt her words express what I also feel. “My outer self is being bombarded with profound images and sounds of hatred, provoked by the extremes of radical thought. It is taking greater effort to come back and delink from my reactive habit of presenting anger and rage.”

When I feel “bombarded” it’s hard to keep my heart soft and open. My brain clicks into survival mode. My options become limited. Irritation grips me. My intolerance of others clouds my mind. My thoughts begin to loop around fear and anger. I build a wall around my heart.

I lived through the upheaval of the 1960’s. Tumultuous times are with us once again. Forty-seven years ago, fear flooded my thoughts. Me, a young mother, fretted over the world my children would inherit. My worried mind can still stir, but now it often settles with meditation, prayer and yoga. Acts like these keep our souls shining and are not “happy face solutions.” They cultivate steadiness. After practicing countless balance poses in yoga, I see that my focus determines if I fall or not.

Political discourse and action on social issues are important to me. Being a social worker has encouraged sensitives about the struggles many of us face. Reading about issues, ferreting out information and working for candidates is something I’ve done throughout my adult life.

Still the bigger challenge for me is, how do I hold a place of peace when fear boils over?

I want to bring the love I feel in my kitchen into the world. I want to take the caring present in the women’s circles to larger circles of people. These pockets of love need to expand to many other places. Sharing love has never felt more urgent to me. “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” I read this quote the other day. It implies a choice. I want to be kind as I listen to others. I won’t let these times turn me into a hateful woman, even though I detest some of what I see.

I will keep cooking.

I’ll resist feeding hate.

I’ll feed love.

Whatever I feed will grow stronger.


              Photo of Spicy Roasted Ratatouille with Spaghetti: Link


6 thoughts on “Feeding Love”

  1. Very timely and “food” for thought! I, too, have been cooking a lot lately, good, healthy food, and I also am enjoying that. I have been taking big news fasts and yet I know that’s not the solution. Thanks for some helpful thoughts and perspectives.

  2. Maureen, Thanks for your comments. These little things, like cooking, are so helpful. They bring me back to easier times. They let me celebrate small steps that make a difference.

  3. Cathy Anderson-Berry

    One Peaceful World

    “Peace begins in kitchens and pantries, gardens and backyards, where our food is grown and prepared. The energies of nature and the infinite universe are absorbed through the foods we eat and are transmuted into our thoughts and actions.” -Michio Kushi

    This quote was given to me by a fellow classmate/chef.
    Ever since I started exploring plant-based/vegan cooking this quote has been posted in my kitchen so that I remember.

  4. Katie O'Connell

    This fits me to a tee, Nancy! I’ve lately become obsessed with baking sourdough bread. The ‘slow’ kind…the kind that needs starter to ferment for a week, 18 hrs. to first rise, several more hours to second rise and bake. It’s laborious, but the slowed process feeds my need to feel settled. I just hadn’t realized why until I read this! Thanks for shedding light on why this has appealed to me.

  5. Dear Katie, I wonder how many of us are feeling this way as we turn to our kitchen and search for a way to settle and nourish our souls. I have heard from others by email reporting similar feelings. Hope you read Cathy’s post above from One Peaceful World. These times drive me to search to make sense of all that I see.
    Thanks So Much.

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