I recently listened to a woman describe the process of preparing her family’s strictly macrobiotic meals. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the macrobiotic diet, it’s one that relies heavily on grains and is supplemented by vegetables and fruits, and avoids processed and non-organic, non locally-grown foods. In her case she had adapted to this lifestyle- and it is a lifestyle- after a cancer diagnosis, believing that eating macrobiotically would aid in combating the disease.
She casually outlined her routine: Shopping. Rinsing. Chopping. Steaming. Toasting and tossing, cooling and sprinkling.
It could take her hours to prepare a weeknight meal for her family, but she didn’t mind. What’s more, she enjoyed the process, because she felt that another -ing was at work in her body: healing.
I thought about her words, and all the work she invested into each meal of millet and barley or brown rice with broccoli. I imagined her standing at the butcher block, sharpening her blade. Content, as the steam rose high and clung to the kitchen window.
In each of our lives, we make room for what matters. And while you won’t find me giving up coffee or red wine or, -Gasp!- Doritos anytime soon, I invest in what matters to me.
I sort them. Savor them. Think about how they’d look on the page. I make room for them in the morning and in the night, when the house hums quiet. When they rise in the air like steam that clings to whatever’s ready to receive it.