Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

“Deceptively simple.” I think I finally know what that phrase means.

But when I focus on the minute details of food and place in my own life experiences, the more global my thoughts became, wondering how fellow bloggers in China, Australia, Virginia, Boston, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Canada, Wales, Iraq and elsewhere nourish and nurture their physical bodies and spiritual selves, and under what conditions.

The foods we eat depend in large measure upon our geography, culture, philosophy or religion, and economic circumstance. Do we have the freedom to choose what we eat each day or is our menu controlled by others? The locus of our emotional state determines “where we’re at.” To a depressed person, even the most exquisite meal tastes brown, dusty, and hard to swallow, while one basking in emotional sunshine may savor an apple and a hunk of cheese with fulfilled delight.

To a practicing alcoholic, the beer, cigarette and chocolate chip cookie meal may be a daily reality.

To an ill person in the hospital, the blue liquid nutrient delivered through a feeding tube may keep them alive and hydrated with daily requirements for survival, but it can hardly be called food. Or to someone chronically ill with nausea and pain, food may feel like an enemy.

There can be joy and spiritual insight through fasting, when the withholding of food is our own choice.

This morning, I will be at the communion table, partaking of the body and the blood, a bizarre transmogrification, but one in which I participate, hoping that one day something will click and my faith will no longer be elusive. I always take away something of value, a feeling of positive mysticism, feeling that I have indeed been spiritually fed. And yet, walking away, my mouth still damp with wine, a voice in one ear whispers “Believe,” while one in the other breathes, “Look before you leap.”


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