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Interbeing with Our Earth: Eating with the Seasons. April 12, 2013

Posted by Living Abundance in Uncategorized.
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I would like to write a few posts about living in harmony with our Earth, specifically living gracefully with the changing seasons. This post is on eating seasonal food, and I plan to write at least one more post on other aspects of living connected to the seasons.

Eating seasonal food has made the activities around food into an adventure, and I feel more humbled in my abilities as a human being. Some other advantages of eating seasonally I have found are a deeper appreciation for the food when I have the chance to enjoy them, and feeling more closely connected to my ancestors, our entire Earth, and the whole universe.

I have made some changes to my personal circumstances the past few years to be more closely connected to the seasons. One change is eating seasonally. I try my best to eat only, or almost only, foods that are local and in season all year round.  In fact, some of the foods I eat I take directly off of the land, and I have no choice but to enjoy these in season. Wild berries, mushrooms, and nuts, as well as herbs for my teas, are only possible to harvest while they are fresh and ripe. I make an effort to eat seasonally out of respect for our earth and my responsibility to ensure my fellow human global citizens have access to resources. While in some way, this decision could be viewed as constricting, there are many advantages I have come to appreciate.

One advantage is that I have had to be more open to new experiences. My eating habits have become almost an adventure. There are so many new foods I have had to learn how to shop, buy, store, prepare, cook, eat, and preserve.

Another advantage of eating seasonally is that I am able to savour and appreciate the foods I do eat because they are only available for such a short time of the year. To take advantage of this opportunity, I am able to freely and completely go “all out” and eat my fill until I have had enough. Week after week I will restock on precious fresh asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, nectarines, eating every single day for weeks on end. Finally by the end I have satisfied my craving until the same time next year. I enjoy the foods more while they are in season because I know they won’t last. I might be eating the food and think to myself, for example, well, this might be the last nectarine I eat for another 10 months.

Another advantage of eating seasonally is that I’m able to recognize and appreciate the ability of plants to store energy and nutrients for me. When the ground is hard and frozen outside in winter and incapable of supporting vegetation, I can still be nourished by the healthy nutrients of the winter foods. They have been adapted and developed by my ancestors to store nutrients and keep me healthy all winter long.

An advantage of eating seasonally is that I am humbled by my need for food that comes from the earth. I realize the limits of my power as a human being when I see that, no matter how hard I try, I can’t make a strawberry plant grow in February. Such conditions are out of my control. Instead, I have to give my power over to our Earth to provide that for me. As a result, I feel more alive as a human being.

Eating seasonally makes me feel more connected to our earth, to the whole universe, and to my ancestors. I feel more connected to the countless generations of ancestors who had no other choice but to eat seasonally. They learned infinite ways to adapt themselves to the changing seasons in order to survive. They didn’t have the luxury of modern conveniences that allows my generation to preserve and ship out-of-season foods.

I feel connected to our Earth and to our entire living world around me that provides such wonderful food. When I am able to know and understand why certain foods only grow and bear fruit under certain conditions, I feel more connected to the rhythms of nature and the shifting life-giving elements. I feel more connected to the living fertility of our Earth that is always providing such abundant fruit.

I feel more connected to our entire universe when I am directly affected by the movement of our planet. The transitions of equinoxes and solstices have a salient reminder to me of how I am moving out of one season and the next. In between these landmark events, subtle changes that might seem so simple as air temperature growing colder or the position of the sun in the sky has a more real meaning for me. These signs mark a transition to shift or change a real and tangible part of my personal circumstances.

A few of the changes I have noticed since deciding to eat in season foods almost exclusively are a sense of adventure in preparing food, as well as deeper humility that makes me feel more alive. I have also found that I appreciate in season foods more when I only have a short time to enjoy them. Finally, my interbeing with my ancestors, our Earth, and the whole universe has become much more salient to me. I hope that these changes will only become more pronounced in the future as I plan to enjoy many more delicious in season foods!

 

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