A couple of days ago as I was walking to the elementary school to pick up Amie I was suddenly struck by what a fine day it was. Then I stopped in my tracks – we walk to and from school through “the woods”, that’s the neighbors’ wooded backyards, so they were, literally, tracks – and laughed out loud. Another mom, just behind, caught up with me and asked with a smile what I was laughing about. My plain and simple answer was: the criteria we have for what constitutes “a good day”!
I’m not talking about the day when you bump into Bill Gates in the elevator and sell him your project, or find an agent for your novel, or win the lottery… I’m talking about an ordinary day — that day. And I found that three particular things had “made” that day:
- all four hens had each laid an egg after being on strike for two days, possibly freaked out by the hurricane,
- my neighbor had brought me a pound of wild oyster mushrooms,
- I had just tasted the mead and it far exceeded my expectations.
Why did this make me laugh? First because I thought: is that all it takes, food? Then I realized that all this food was rather exceptional food. That in this suburban neighborhood I was managing to cultivate out-of-the-ordinary food: all of it home-made, home-grown, and foraged within a mile of my house (the mead is from my own honey, the mushrooms were foraged in my street). It was something I so dreamed of years ago. And now here it was, making my day, making my ordinary day!
Amie and I that day talked about how much of our food is local and what that means. We know the people and animals who grew it. Knowing them we can appreciate their labor, their love, the need for our support. We are naturally moved to gratitude. We decided we need a way of saying thanks. If you know of a poem or short message of thanksgiving (that is non-religious) to be said over our dinner everyday, please share it with us. It will help us celebrate the extraordinary food that lifts us up out of the ordinary.