One truly good piece of my childhood was country living. It seeped into my bones and has never left. To this day the smell of nature instantly puts me in a state of calm and peace. I love every single part of it, except the cold. I will confess, I HATE cold, but even with that I can appreciate the beauty of snow covered trees and the complete silence that usually accompanies a heavy snowfall. It’s especially beautiful at night. Nature is my solitude. I believe it is the closest to God anyone can ever be, and provides me with a very deep appreciation for all things made solely by him, which is a nice reprieve from the constant barrage of human-centered products and activities that consume most of our days!
Prior to my parents divorce, I spent countless hours wandering an old abandoned house, playing in sand piles carved out of the earth at the entry of my Grandma’s woods, and carefully meandered paths, attempting to avoid all things prickery as we used to say, in search of treasured fruits. These were memories that served as an amazing foundation of appreciation for life. It gave me a sense of connection and innocence that all life was beautiful. That deep connection of faith in Gods works has steadfastly remained through mountains of pain. Even when I didn’t believe in God himself, I stilled believed in his creations. I never doubted humankind and somehow always knew that when people hurt others it was because they were hurting, rather than ever buying into the idea that people were just mean.
Take a stroll with me for a moment. The sun is shining, multiple bird songs are playing from every direction, wind is whipping through your hair periodically – just enough to offset the heat of the sun, you dig your feet several inches beneath the sand and then lift them up and wiggle the refreshing cold dirt between your toes creating a soft giggle. Now, pop up and take a walk in the woods. Leaves rustling, trees swaying, squirrels jumping from branch to branch, the crackle of broken tree limbs beneath your feet, and oh the smells. Breathe in the fresh moss, a dose of wild flowers, and listen in the distance to the babbling creek, your mouth salivating with the idea of ice cold water!
We fill our lives with so much stuff but nature is the essence of peace and tranquility. It’s this beautiful place that became the emergence to my belief that our food is also meant to be savored, not just from the moment it hits our plate, but from the moment it is created. Our fast paced lifestyle and development of what I refer to as corporate food, has nearly deleted all true connection with food. Such a sad chain of events.
When I was a kid, a garden was mandatory, followed by a season of canning. At the time, eliminating the weeds from the garden was a burden I abhorred. But, pulling up a fresh carrot or radish, wiping it clean under the well spigot, and tasting the crunch of the juices flowing through my teeth was pure delight! And the colors! When was the last time you took a walk through a vegetable garden? Not the pages of a magazine displaying a vegetable garden, but a REAL garden!!! It’s bursting with color, smells, and the buzzing of bees! Tomatoes are by far my favorite. They permeate a smell like none other and you can usually detect it from a good ten feet away. There is simply nothing like fresh vegetables from a garden and how we became a society satisfied with anything less is beyond me. Not only are we satisfied with less, we are now eating what I think is tasteless, chemically ridden, sugar coated, dangerous consumable products that corporate refers to as food. This has occurred over a span of 30-40 years or more. I mention this because when things of this nature happen slowly, the negative impact oftentimes are unrecognizable, like weight gain or loss. A pound or two here or there doesn’t seem like much but continue the trend over the span of ten years and you are truly unhealthy and likely obese.
This is essentially what has happened with our food industry. Disconnection, often exhausting lifestyles and the stamp of approval by our FDA and USDA has provided a perfect environment for us to rationalize fast food, whether that be from a drive through or pulling a boxed meal out of the freezer and whipping it into the microwave. As you can probably guess, this is a topic I could write on for days. And, slowly, over time, I will continue to pour out more and more on this matter. There is an epidemic of illnesses throughout all age groups, including depression, and obesity. Nobody will ever convince me that most of these problems couldn’t be fixed with proper nutrition and a backyard garden. Yes, I advocate everyone have a garden created from fresh, organic soil, and hand worked by the owner! Therapy and nutrition in one fell swoop! And, you’ll save money!!! YES you can fit it into your life, like anything else you decide has utmost importance. If the food you eat isn’t at the top of that list, then what is? What could be more important than keeping yourself and your child healthy? How do you think your body is fueled for protection, immune function, brain power, etc? Our body is fueled by food. Feed yourself whole foods created by God, free of chemicals, and you are setting yourself up for the best health possible. Feed yourself and your children loads of sugar, a known toxin, and chemically ridden foods, and hold your breath waiting on the damage you are creating leading to deterioration of your health. Ever hear of Russian Roulette? Ha! And, don’t forget the powerful supplements needed to fill in the gap created by lack of nutrients in our soil from overuse.
Remember my comment about gaining weight over the span of 10 years? This is the premise of why people so easily rationalize boxed “foods” in their freezer and on their pantry shelves. Perhaps even you just finished such a meal. Nothing bad happened right? Or maybe last week you grabbed a cheeseburger from Wendy’s, and nothing bad happened right? But the truth is we are turning a blind eye to the 10 year effect – the net effect. We are refusing to acknowledge the connection between the long term effects of the food consumed today. It’s simply easier to ignore it. It’s easier on our time and it’s easier on our wallets. But mark my words, there is a reason God created beautiful food that can give nourishment to our bodies and our souls. And, regardless of what you WANT to ignore, the fact remains that every bite you take is positively or negatively impacting your health and the same goes for your child.
Now there’s some food for thought!!!!