“The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure.” Tibetan proverb
This has been a most eventful week. First of all, I celebrated my birthday, which is special in itself, but it also marks the fourth anniversary of my blog launch. In addition, spring has finally arrived here and it greeted us with so many gifts. The trees are budding, a momma robin has taken residence in our back porch nest, the peonies have emerged and most importantly, the daffodils chose my special day to burst open and grace us with their sunshine. Being born, of course, is not something we choose, but I am grateful for my loving family and mentors who nurtured me throughout my life’s journey and helped me develop into the person I am today. Celebrating another birthday is the best gift of all, but the photos today, expressions of the love I received from those I hold dear, helped to give the day an air of celebration. I give thanks for being alive and well for another year and am hopeful this coming year will bring peace and happiness and good health to us all. Reflecting on these events, I cannot help but get a little philosophical. Please bear with me as I share some of my thoughts with you.
I have learned so much over the last four years of writing my blog. In addition to the research it requires, which is very informative, I have learned so much from my most interesting and loyal readers. Thank you for standing by me and sharing my passion. This weekly exercise has helped me become a better photographer and writer. It has provided me an opportunity to make new acquaintances, spotlight people and businesses I respect and a forum for highlighting trends and important food related issues and health concerns. The creative process of developing recipes and photographing and penning the results, has lifted my soul. I believe everyone is an artist and in need of such outlets.
Some of the lessons I have learned from both living and writing are:
- Food made with love nourishes the body and the soul.
- You are what you eat and what you eat, eats. The quality of the food we consume has direct effect on your health and therefore your quality of life.
- Children are not born picky eaters, they are taught from a very young age what they like and don’t like.
- Every school should teach gardening so children know where their food comes from and develop a deeper respect.
- The most masterful chefs are joyous eaters.
- Food is at the height of flavor when it is grown with care, harvested at its peak and brought to us quickly and directly from the grower. It is important to support local family farms.
- Communal meals are an essential ritual for all, but especially children.
- A good life is not about outward appearances but inward significance.
- Focusing on the positive makes for a happier life.
- Butter is a gift of nature, margarine is not. Trust cows more than chemists when it comes to food.
Reflection also provokes life’s questions. Some of the ones often on my mind are:
- Why are women less valued than men? After all these years, why do we have to continue the discussion of equal pay for equal work?
- Why are some corporations so greedy they have to spray known poisons on our food in order to boost profits? Why is it allowed?
- Why don’t all people in the world have access to clean water, high quality nutritious food and good healthcare?
- Asparagus is a spring vegetable. Why eat it in winter?
These are just a few of the things rattling around in my psyche and I felt moved to share them during this time of rebirth and reflection. Hopefully they have provided you with food for thought and perhaps a spark of interest in influencing positive changes. Injustices exist because we tolerate them. Friday, April 22nd is “Earth Day.” Let’s all pledge to make our own contributions. It can be as simple as buying organic, using reusable shopping bags at the market or vowing to discontinue supporting certain companies and their harmful practices. Refilling your water bottle as opposed to single use bottles can reduce waste significantly. Concern for “Mother Earth” helps us all to live healthier, happier lives. I would love to hear what is on your mind and how you might be making a difference.
“Keep your eyes and hearts open and stomachs full.” Unknown
I conclude today with more gratitude for my life and for all of you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas and spread the love, one dish at a time. Forever grateful, Jeanne
“When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary, because it tastes like what it is.” Alice Waters
Signs of spring, at last! Give thanks for the gifts of our “mother.”