Monday, November 4, 2013

7: When Food is More than Nourishment

October was focused on Food.  Chicken, Wheat Bread, Potatoes, Eggs, Apples, Special K, and Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream are good foods, just not for a month. 

Other than eggs, which I quickly learned that I don't like as much as I thought, these are foods that taste good and I enjoy eating.  I wasn't hungry during the month because I could get as much of these foods as I wanted at any time.  The real problem was my desire to revert back to my comfy American diet. 

Being limited in my choices was the worst part of the month.  That may seem obvious but it starts to take over your thoughts in short order.  The idea of anyone eating anything made me think about what I couldn't eat.  My general demeanor was grouchy, I can admit it.  Cooking food for other people that I couldn't eat made me jealous.  I wanted what they were having.  I was longing for different foods.  As I cooked, I knew what I was missing because I had experienced it before.  Food is more than just nutrition to me.  Food is enjoyment and freedom.  I like eating different foods, my favorite foods.  Foods hold an emotional meaning in my life.  Pumpkin Cookies are a necessity for Fall but they weren't on my list.

Maybe some of this is what it is like for the children I met at the feeding center.  They watch the world outside and want just a little bit of what other people have.  Due to their circumstances, they don't even really know what they are longing for--something different and better.  Leftover food that isn't rice or beans, Candy, Second hand toys and clothes, it doesn't matter just something different from the norm.  How do we help them rise above the norm?  I don't know the answer to solve all of the problems, I just know my small part. 

One of the most important parts of this journey for me is to keep myself in check as I go through my days.  I am blessed beyond measure.  When I was feeling sorry for myself, I drifted back to the feeding center and thought of the kids.  My limitations ended last Friday, those children live that way every day.  They can't count down the days until they have an unlimited assortment of foods awaiting them. 

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday....Black Beans and Rice.  Until someone gives them something different...

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