Tag Archives | virtue

Paint Away The Pain: On Hard Times and Creating Art

whimsical whimsy owl squirrel mouse fox mooseElune and I are discussing artwork and the creative process. She asks me: “Have you ever used art to paint your way out of your hardest times in life or your inner struggles?”

This past year, I addressed some painful issues: depression, financial insecurity, old wounds, and disillusionment with church leadership. These topics probably seem even heavier when juxtaposed against the lighthearted and fanciful style of my artwork. How does my life experience inform my artwork? How can someone who thinks about such dark things create such whimsical pieces?

I’m not sure I have an answer. (more…)

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Depression, Suicide and Hope: My Redemption Story

jeans with ripped kneesI need to tell you about the time I tried to kill myself.

I spent my early twenties at Harding University. When I tell you that my school is a legalistic Christian school, this is what I mean: not only are there strict rules about modesty, one day I was stopped by a teacher in chapel and told to change because my jeans had ripped knees; girls and boys are in separate dorms, at opposite ends of campus, and have strict curfews; girls are required to pass a weekly cleaning inspection; not only is alcohol consumption forbidden for all students and staff, but if a student is merely seen holding a can of beer for someone else, they will be expelled. I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the picture: I was in a controlling environment.

When I think back to my emotional state at that time, I imagine myself cowering in the corner of a room, huddled with my head between my knees, with sticky black paint poured over my back, dripping down my head, pooling at my feet.

I was 22 years old when I overdosed on pills and was rushed to the hospital. I used to be afraid all the time that I would die by suicide. It hurt so much to be alive, and some days I just couldn’t bear it. I spent the entire ride to the hospital terrified that I had tried to commit suicide. (more…)

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((new portrait)) Beauty Grows In the Thick Of Things

photo1
I am a sublimation junkie.

Well, not technically. Let’s have a little tangent and unpack “sublimation” for a bit.

Psychologically speaking, sublimation is when you take something reprehensible and transform it into something acceptable. But that’s not what I mean. I get excited when I am presented with a situation that is painful, broken and sad, and out of the pain, something new and beautiful is born, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Philosophically, Kant’s theories about The Sublime portrayed it as something beyond the grasp of mortal man. Mortal man is too messy, too complicated. However, I disagree with Kant. I don’t believe our messy, mortal lives are something we need to overcome or despise for their limitations. I believe we, as people, are fully and truly exactly who we are meant to be…and that connection to The Divine can be discovered when we live more fully, more deeply, and more truly exactly right where we are. (more…)

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“Are you having more kids?”

There is one category of questioning that all young parents loathe: “Are you having more kids?”


For the record, yes. Matt and I want more kid(s). But it’s up to God when we have our next one.

I want to share with you, my readership, some thoughts on this question so that you can be more sensitive and understanding when broaching this topic with others.

First off, if you just met someone and they have not volunteered any information about more kids, assume they don’t want to talk about it. This is a good rule of thumb for all category of acquaintances, actually. But. If you *do* ask, and they answer yes or no or maybe someday, give them a moment. If they clam up or change the topic, then drop it. They don’t want to talk about it. And that’s OK.

Parents do NOT have to justify their parent numbering choices. To ANYONE. Some people will only have 1 kid, and others will have twelve. Families look different everywhere, and for a multitude of reasons. And scoffing at a big family for bringing more children into the world or berating a parent for giving their child no sibling, these are insensitive and inappropriate ways of talking to parents. We already feel judged. All the time. We make the best choices we can, and we take the children God blesses us with, and that’s that.


Things that are very ok to say:
– You are a great parent.
– You’d be a great parent to multiple children.
– You have a big heart.
– Kids love you.
– I marvel at your patience/creativity/nurturing.
– What a sweet relationship you have with your child.

I write this from personal experience, but also from conversations with MULTIPLE parents who dread being asked about their plans for future children. I just ask you: please try to be sensitive, do more listening than talking, and (when in doubt) just avoid the topic entirely.

Xoxo
Erin

5/7/2013

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Do Not Despair

Joy is a complicated thing.

Matt walks in the door after a long day. I tell him how I have felt sick all day, how Phoebe fought her nap for two hours, how all of the dishes are dirty, how it’s beans and rice for dinner because I was too exhausted to prepare anything more elaborate. With compassion, he hugs me and says, “I’m sorry it’s been a bad day.” And it hits me: it HASN’T been a bad day. A difficult day? Yes. But a good one; a fulfilling one; a purposeful one. A day filled with love and blessings.

Weeping Sunshine

How are we to be JOYFUL when we are called to pass through DIFFICULT TIMES? I’m not even talking about the bombing in Boston or the shooting in Newtown, although those tragedies apply. I’m talking about your everyday life, your everyday grief, the griefs you carry with you that you cannot seem to shake. I have these types of griefs, and I believe we all do: money troubles, aches and pains, illness, injury, people we have lost, relationships that have withered, divorce, death, miscarriage, the yawning pain of absence.

Close up 1

Being Joyful is less about being happy, per se, and more about Being OK whether or not I’m happy. Knowing that my world will not fall apart in the face of despair, this is what gives me hope and strength and tenacity. I do not speak these words as someone who has never felt pain. This I have seen time and again: wherever there is disaster and death and chaos, life and love and hope spring back in it wake. Love is victorious. Good is victorious. The flowers pop up each spring. Babies are born. Wounds heal. Rainbows paint the sky.

Loving someone means you open your heart and make yourself vulnerable. Even the most loving relationship has its hurts. But that’s ok. Because loving someone was never supposed to be about symbiosis, but about paying it forward. Love is not about keeping track of how even a relationship is. Love is about being poured out, being ok with the mystery of emptiness, and being amazed when God fills you up again.

This, I believe, is the mystery of Faith. This is the act of surrendering my idols and worshipping God. I don’t need to be healthy. I don’t need to know where my food or clothing or shelter will come from. I don’t need to be with my child. I don’t need rest. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I don’t wallow in my sufferings, because suffering tenderizes me: it opens me up to feel the suffering of others and teaches me how to love compassionately.

Close up 2

My hope for you is not that you will never suffer, but that you will suffer well.

My hope for you is not that you will never feel pain, but that when pain finds you, you will allow yourself to feel it, and then let it pass; and when the echoes of that pain find you: let them fill you, take a breath, and then empty yourself all over again.

My hope for you is that, when you find joy, you dance and hug and sing and laugh. Pour yourself out, over and over, like a jar of clay. For we feel like sinew and bone, but we are dust-to-dust in the blink of an eye. And recognizing the slice of eternity we are called to steward within our hearts might just be the key to turning our Grief into Joy.

I leave you with this poem by Mary Oliver…

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Blog post by Erin
4/16/2013

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The Way Things Are

feminist erin silly face ekwetzelSETTING THE TONE

I consider myself a feminist. A feminist? Whoa. That’s a loaded term. What do I mean by that?? (Pausing before moving forward.) I believe it’s important to let women have choices in life. I believe that not all women are meant for the same roles. Women are multifaceted, strong, capable people, just like their male counterparts are.

I do not believe women = men.

And I do not believe in a homogeneous outlook for women or men…or their roles. Each of us was created and called to a different purpose in life. Some are bakers, some are candlestick makers, metaphorically and literally. And our callings/purposes/roles often change over the course of our lives.

Practical application: my grandmother (my dad’s mom) was tough as nails. She was raised during The Great Depression in an Irish-Catholic immigrant family in upstate New York. She was poor financially, and on the bottom rungs of the social ladder. She married, had 3 boys, and her husband was a drunk that would spend his paycheck at the bar, so there would be no money left to feed the family by the time he stumbled home. Therefore, my grandmother worked. She was a custodian at a local school; she walked to work in the cold and snow. As a woman, she was not respected at her job, never got promoted, and brought home just enough to keep her 3 boys fed and warm. From cradle to grave she had a hard life.

If she had lived in a world that gave women better options, better opportunities and more respect as individuals, maybe her life would not have had to be so hard. There’s no way of telling: the past is past. But I wish she’d at least had options. In her era, that was just the way things were.

WOMEN’S ROLES = MEN’S ROLES??

Changing what is expected of women and then judging all women by those narrow expectations is NOT liberation. My grandmother’s era expected her to be a stay at home mom. She was not wanted in the workplace, and the deck was stacked against her to not be successful in “The Man’s World.” We have made a lot of progress as a society in giving women professional opportunities…but have our attitudes evolved as well?

Sometime I feel like we just turned the tables. Whereas before it was socially unacceptable for a woman to do “Man Work,” these days I feel like women are expected to do “Man Work.”

Well…let me put it this way. I was a middle-class girl raised in the 80s, and I was told my entire childhood by media and public school: “be all you can be” and “you can do anything.” I wasn’t just raised believing that I could do anything that a boy could do, but that I should. That the masculine way was superior, for both men and women, and that if a woman wanted to gain real notoriety, respect, achievement and fulfillment in life, what she needed was a career. A way to make her mark in the history books.

The problem with this mindset is that it is too narrow-minded. I thought the feminist movement was about expanding women’s choices, not about switching the female role from one stereotype to another.

MY FEMINIST IDENTITY STRUGGLE

path pregnant choices belly bumpAs a new mom, I’ve faced the dilemma that every new mom in the modern era must face: do I leave the “professional” career world or do I stay? If I stay, do I work part-time? Switch jobs? How much time off do I take? If I take more than 2 or 3 weeks off, will I lose my job? If I take a few months off, can we afford to do that?

If I leave my job, will I try making money at home? Selling crafts on etsy? Blogging & selling adspace? Can I be industrious at home to make up for the fact that I’m not helping bring home the bacon? What can I do to help shoulder the financial burden of providing for my household, the household that I share?

Do I even have the right to consider staying at home just to mother, just to be a mom, to make no money and have no financial SAHM career plan? If I want to quit the career world for 6 months or a year or for good, do I even have that right? And, better question still: will anyone respect me as an individual if all I am is a mother and wife?

Guilt. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

(Not to mention: stress…stress…stress…)

The question is not as simple as, “Do I want to keep my job?” or “Do I want to stay at home?” We now live in a world where, the way things are, women are expected to co-provide for their families no matter what. We are expected to be “an asset.”

And – frankly – when you meet a new family (or couple) and find out that the wife and husband both have careers, they seem normal. That is the archetype that we expect in modern American culture, at least. It’s the stay at home moms that seem “granola” or “religious” or “different” or “simple.” In addition, there is the association of less prestige, intelligence and respect for the path of full-time motherhood.

I am a woman. I want to live fully. I want to follow my calling. And when I draw my line in the sand to work or not work, I don’t want to do it so that other women can be like me, but so that other women feel free to make their own choices as I have done, as free from social pressure as possible.

DOWN TO EARTH: OUR STORY

Here was our situation. When we got pregnant, my hours had been reduced at work due to the economy. As the pregnancy progressed, my hours dwindled until I was laid off (during week 27 of the pregnancy). From then until now I have collected unemployment, which is due to run out about a month after the baby comes. And we don’t plan on applying for an extension, because I have no intension of going back to work. I don’t plan on making any money at all.

INSPIRATION: DOING IT RIGHT

homemade crafty etsy scrabble board

Amberly made this Scrabble Board at home; one example of her thrifty, crafty, beautiful style that I find inspirational.

The person who has inspired me more than any other to pursue the path that Mr. Wetzel and I are currently on is my friend, Amberly. She is a single mom, about 30 years old, with a 3 year old son. She works part-time at Trader Joes, rents a 1 bedroom apartment and drives a Subaru wagon. She works 4 days a week (about 30 hours), and when she’s at work her son typically stays with the father’s family. Amberly doesn’t just “make it work:” she has a beautiful life.

That’s right: my single-mom, blue-collar working, apartment-renting friend has a beautiful life.

From the get-go, Amberly had a no-nonsense approach to parenting, spending and living. She never buys anything new for her son (there are SO MANY wonderful thrift and consignment stores available, especially in our area). Instead of asking herself “what do we need” she would ask herself “what can we do without”? She strives to make the things she needs, or to repurpose objects. Her glasses and cups are all Mason jars. Instead of cable TV and dvds, she collects old VHS tapes from friends and thrift stores for their movie collection. When weaning her son, she didn’t buy baby food; she’d just mash up whatever meal she had: no special preparation or recipes or ingredients or gear.

A year or so ago, I remember a conversation with Amberly that really humbled me. She was fed up with “working too much” and was trying to figure out what she could cut back on or do without so that she could work fewer hours. That’s right: 4 days and 30 hours a week was too much. She wanted more time with her son. At the time, I was in full-throttle workaholic mode, and I felt like I had to make money and work really hard because we had debt and wanted a kid someday, and we had to be financially stable before we could allow ourselves to start a family. And here was my friend, a single mom, talking about making less money as a good thing. It really challenged me to examine my priorities and spending habits. In that season of my life, I started to address what my needs truly were and how I tended to use money to create an illusion of security and identity, when what I really needed was depth of character and spiritual growth.

Some lessons I’ve carried away from Amberly are:
1. Have faith in yourself as a parent. Go with your gut & don’t let other people tell you that “you aren’t doing things right” just because your life doesn’t look like theirs.
2. Have the guts to not be rich. Because when you have less money but more time, your life actually gets more creative, individual, unique and beautiful. Money is not power. Simplicity is freedom.
3. Don’t find your security in being homogenous, but in being real. If you’re struggling with something (emotionally, physically, financially, relationally), don’t try to make it “be normal” or “look pretty.” Instead, accept life’s rough patches for what they are, and learn to move onward.
4. Allow yourself to change along the way. Life is a journey. Our experiences shape and mold us.

aerial belly shot 38 weeks pregnant

In this photo, we are 10 days from our due date. (^_^ Oh, and I just realized the dress I'm wearing in these pictures was a hand-me-down gift from Amberly).

We were always meant to grow, develop, flourish and bloom under the sun. We are different flowers in different fields. Some are bakers and some are candlestick makers. And that’s the way we are. Some of us are meant to quit our jobs and some of us are meant to keep them, and there are as many variations on the Career vs. Stay-At-Home-Mom theme as there are people who live out their lives and have children.

Don’t worry. Don’t let yourself be preoccupied with society and “the way things are.” Whether you are woman or man, you are a creation with a soul and a calling in life. Don’t let guilt motivate you. Don’t let your life and decisions be dictated by “the ways things should be.” Instead: dig deep, and live according to the way you are and the calling that arises in your own life. When you face the inevitable identity crisis that we all go through when our lives change or feel out of control, don’t grasp after archetypes or stereotypes, but have the guts to let the wild ride of life happen, to let your hair blow in the wind, and to let the pieces of your life scatter as they may, wherever they will, like the leaves of autumn, or the stars of the night sky.  And may your life be beautiful.

By ekwetzel
2011-04-04

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Weeks 25 & 26 – Resolutions

wishesThe funny thing about resolutions is that we never keep them. It’s a game we play with ourselves…a sick game where we come up with some unobtainable idea of the perfect “self” that we wish defined us. Resolutions remind us of our shortcomings, our failures, and our faults. And, when we invariably fail at our resolutions, it just reminds us of how pathetic, weak and imperfect humanity can be. (Why am I talking about humanity???) Truly, it reminds us of the weaknesses in ourselves, but in a depressing, shameful way.

I have no interest in a path that leads to self-loathing. Screw resolutions.

Ah…but then there is the path that few complete: the ones that keep their resolutions. Do they truly become better people? Or do they just gain the self-obtained right to think their better than other people? I have no interest in a path that leads to self-righteousness, either. Even if resolutions are able to be kept by some, I still say: screw resolutions!

We have to come to accept certain things about our lives. We are imperfect. We cannot pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and fix our lives. Sometimes things that are broken stay broken. Sometimes things that hurt never heal. Sometimes weight is never lost. Youth flies out the window like a summer breeze. Death happens every day.

Once you can accept that life isn’t always a walk in the park, you can move on and appreciate what live has to offer. I think that being REAL and LIVING and WARM BLOODED with people is—hands down—more important than appearing perfect. The truth in life is that we all have flaws and we all offend each other, but none of us can pull it alone. We are a community. I believe God is at the heart of that community, and he brings us together to find meaning and comfort in Him.

Now for the practical application: if you’re thinking of making a resolution to eat locally this year, don’t! Don’t do it! Eat locally when you feel like it. Enjoy local produce, meats and cheeses. Get to know your local farmer and create a relationship with him. Let yourself become convicted that supporting local farmers is a good thing to do. But, if you can’t find your own love for eating locally, then stop. You don’t need to support local agriculture in order to save your soul. Root vegetables are not the indulgences of the 21st century. Food feeds the body; the soul is fed elsewhere.

Local sustainable food is good, but self-righteous localvores are idiots. Don’t become one of them. Be empathetic to others; share your food, and your good cheer; promote community and the local economy; however, don’t think that doing any of this will make up for other hurts or flaws in your life, because it won’t. The best it can do is mask them.  Don’t hide behind a resolution. Face your life for what it is, and feed each part of your being in the way that it needs to be fed.

By ekwetzel
2010-12-29

csa winter december food organicWEEK 25 (There is a 1 week winter break for the last week of the year, and no CSA food)
(Top Row)
Potatoes
Cabbage
Carrots
(Middle Row)
Delicata Squash
Shallot
Pears
Apples
Onion
(Bottom Row)
Rainbow Chard
Leeks

*Photo by Molly Morris

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Week 24 – Cups Full of Cheer

molly morris mug hobbitI guess you could have a lot of convictions. I guess you could walk through life with a lot of specific expectations. “The man I marry will be tall, interested in physics, and he will floss.” “I will leave early for work and get there on time.” “I will invest in certain portfolios and receive a certain kind of return on them.”

The thing is, life is unpredictable.

What if the perfect man for you has rotten teeth? What if your car breaks down on the road, or you get an urgent call from your sister who needs help with something? What if the stock market crashes and you lose everything you have invested?

We like lists. We like certainty. We like predictability. Life likes to defy us.

For example, consider the farm. A farmer can prepare her fields well, tend to them properly, and harvest appropriately; however, if the summer is too wet, or there is a killer frost in the Spring, the nature of her harvest changes drastically. At Terry’s Berries, we never know what food we will get when we sign up for a seasonal share of the yield. But we sign up anyways. We commit and pre-pay. Each week when we go to pick up our goodies, it is a new surprise. And we eat whatever bounty finds us.

You can’t go through life making decisions about your future and setting them in stone. What you can do, is decide what kind of attitude you want to have about your life. This is not a conciliatory move. This does not mean you let life run you over, only to say, “’It’s all good; I’ve got my Prozak.” No. What I mean is this: you decide to live a life of joy, then as situations arise – you fall in love; your sister needs you; your life savings are wiped out – you respond to them in a way that defends the way you want to live. Live from the heart out. Live rooted in soul.

Mr. Wetzel and I respect local food, we appreciate fresh food, and we prefer organic and natural farming methods. It is because these values, as well as others, that we make the commitment to eat from our local farms, creameries and butcher shops whenever possible.

We choose to have joy about our food, our finances and our life in general. Joy doesn’t happen by accident. You can’t nuke up a microwavable dish of joy. It’s something you have to cultivate, like a garden. It’s something you have to be attentive to. And, if you defend the joy in your life, it will fill you up.

You are the cup. Be filled up with cheer.

By ekwetzel
2010-12-18

*Photo of girl holding mug, courtesy of Molly Morris.

csa food winter tacoma brussels sproutsWEEK 24
(Top row)
Delicata Squash
Turnips
Parsnips
Sunchokes
Carrots
Potatoes
(Middle row)
Beets
Pears
Apples
Brussels Sprouts
Purple Onion
Garlic head
(Bottom row)
Cabbage
2 Leeks
Purple Kale

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Week 23 – The Sparrows and the Lilies

To be honest, I don’t want to write a blog post this week.  I’m not sorry I made the commitment to local food or to writing about it. The food is just not inspirational right now. We buy food from a farm. We’re convicted it’s healthy, good for local economy, good for the environment, cost effective, and a slew of other things. But this is not a week of revelations and insights about our wonderful CSA yummies.  This is a week where we’re not poets, philosophers or activists. We’re simply eaters, and the food is just our food.

This post isn’t about perseverance. It isn’t about finding a bright side. It isn’t about BS-ing my way into writing meaningfulness.  We like our food, but we haven’t been thinking about it much lately. It’s part of our habit, part of our routine. We don’t take it for granted, and we don’t expect it to be more than it is. In its silent, humble status of being, our potatoes are potatoes, our apples are apples, and our leeks are leeks.  We don’t need them to impress us. We’re happy with them just the way they are.

Do you know what I have been thinking about this week? My own identity. We’re 23 weeks pregnant this week, and I’m starting to really show. Everything is in flux: my wardrobe, my appetite, my sleeping schedule…even my work schedule and income are changing. Being pregnant is disarming. You lose a lot of self-control and self-reliance, and it’s easy to freak out over how insecure and “not yourself” it can make you feel. I have found the truest way to remain true to myself, to my family and to Christ is to allow the people who love me to help me and care for me.

Which got me thinking about the lilies and the sparrows. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus addresses our tendency to worry (Matthew 6:25-34). He uses the birds and the flowers as examples, explaining that they don’t worry about caring for their needs; God cares for them day in and day out.

This is what I was thinking about: if a sparrow doesn’t care for its own needs, what’s the point of being a sparrow? Well…to be a songbird and sing.  And, if a lily doesn’t care for its own needs, what’s the point of being a lily? To be a flower and look pretty. To BE a lily. Therefore, if the point of my existence is not to take care of myself, it leaves me asking: what’s the point of being me? If I can’t take care of myself, if I can’t find my identity in my independence and self-reliance, then how do I find identity? How do I find meaning? What’s my purpose?

And it struck me: I’m supposed to be me. To be real. To be honest. To exist fully and openly.

I think we can use self-reliance as a shield to keep us from opening our hearts to other people, and I think that’s a sad way to live. Think about the CSA where we get our food: CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. We are all part of a community, whether or not we realize it. We all need support from each other, whether or not we are willing to give it. Real food cannot exist without real people.

You don’t have to spend your life having mountaintop experiences in order to be real or feel real. Potatoes are just potatoes, sparrows are just sparrows, and I am just me.  But to be true to myself, to be real with you, I believe I am called to fill myself up with the songs of my souls, and then open the beak of my heart and let my being pour out. That, to me, is worshipful living. That is the foundation for community.  That is how to find true identity.

I don’t typically like to write deeply autobiographical posts, but this is what I have for you this week. If I were to write about anything else, I wouldn’t be true to myself or to you. Being real takes courage.  Being real leaves you open to the wind. But, being real is the only way to truly find the songs of your heart.

By ekwetzel
2010-12-11

csa food organic washingtonWEEK 23
(Top Row)
2 Squash: 1 Delicata and 1 Kubota
Turnips
Potatoes
2 Leeks
(Middle Row)
Beets
Frozen Raspberries
Apples
Pears
2 Onions
4 Carrots
Garlic
(Bottom Row)
Mizuna
Fennel
Celery

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Week 20 – Gratitude

thanksgiving turkey carvingYou can go through life greedy, discontent, and always looking for the next thing that holds promise to satisfy your wants and needs. You can grumble and complain about how terrible you have it, and how unfair your lot is. Or, you can appreciate the blessings in your life.

Gratitude is a spiritual discipline. It’s in anyone’s nature to want, crave and covet. But, learning gratitude opens up your heart and your soul to appreciate whatever you have, no matter how little it may be, and to let your life be filled with thanksgiving instead of wishful thinking.  Gratitude is an attitude; it starts in the heart, and permeates the rest of your life. It doesn’t matter how much you have or what it is that you have. There is always something to be grateful for.

Thanksgiving is a holiday about appreciating our blessings: food, family and fellowship.  Food is always a key feature in holiday meals, but for Thanksgiving it takes on a unique role: the Pilgrims were thankful because they were not going to starve. It was the food that the Native Americans brought to them that created the bond of community between them.

We rarely worry about starvation these days in America, and as we allow our food systems to get more and more industrialized, we lose touch with the people that grow and pick the sustenance of our lives. When you combine agriculture with community, you create a relationship and an environment of gratitude; when you take the community out of the equation, the eater is merely a consumer, detached from the land and often critical of the fruits before him.

No matter where you get your food, I encourage you to pursue a spirit of gratitude and a community around your food.

I’m thankful for dinners at the table after a long day of work and chores, and the conversations my husband and I have there.
I’m thankful that the food I eat from the farm is going to grow a healthy little baby in my womb.
I’m thankful for the long apple season in Washington, and the delicious apples that we eat throughout the winter when summer fruit seems but a dream.
I’m thankful for websites like allrecipes.com that help me figure out how to cook the weird and wonderful foods I get from the farm.
I’m thankful for how easy, versatile and delicious potatoes can be.
I’m thankful for whoever invented pies, because they are delicious and one of the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner.
Finally, I’m thankful that farms exist, even in this super-industrialized world, and that people can remain real and grounded, even in an urban area.

My wish for all of you is that you find community around your food, and that you find your own gratitude.

* Thanksgiving photo courtesy of Stephen Proctor.

By ekwetzel
2010-11-19

csa veggies root localvoreWEEK 20

(Starting from the bottom left and going clockwise)
Celery
2 Leeks
2 Kohlrabi
I forgot the name of this root vegetable! Oops!
Onion
Head of Garlic
2 Delicata Squash
2 Carrots
Purple potatoes
2 Beets
Greens, I believe this is a type of bok choi
Fennel
Bowl of Broccoli
(In the middle)
2 Pears
Sweet Pie Pumpkin
5 Apples

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