a bowl of mac ‘n cheese…
i do love mac ‘n cheese. it is a comfort food, for sure, and one reason why i still cannot consider myself vegan. i don’t eat it often and i am not a big fan of dairy, but it does find its way to my table every once in a while.
i have been trying to be more mindful when eating, taking notice and taking time, letting each bite reveal a little bit of life’s mystery as my body gains some nourishment. so, tonight with my mac ‘n cheese before me, i embarked to find awareness.
the first thought was, not surprisingly, “this is just a bowl of mac ‘n cheese.” followed by, “AND it looks delicious – i’m hungry!”
i set out anyway…looking deeply at the pasta i coould see that it is made of unleavened dough of wheat probably, mixed with some flour, water, and egg. looking deeper into those ingredients i could see that the wheat had to be grown, in a field where it received sunlight and water, without which it couldn’t survive. it grew out of soil that houses insects who burrow oxygenating and making it the perfect place for this wheat to grow. and then there is the farmer who owns the land and the workers of the land who assist in the farming. this doesn’t even address of course the eggs which came from chickens who also need sun and water and ranchers. chickens, mind you, that eat grain and feed that also need the right environment and nutrients to grow and be farmed – farmed using equipment that some genius developed, perhaps through trial and error and the help of other people. and then there is also the cow who produced the milk that with assistance and ingenuity has become cheese…oh, yes – the cow also requires sun and water and feed, etc. etc. etc.
looking deeply, i can also see that someone created this popular dish at some point and many others have contributed to the recipe that sat before me, before i ate it…out of a bowl made in China…you get the picture.
all of this and the staff at Sprouts where it was purchased by my sister with money that was given for jobs that i wouldn’t have or she wouldn’t have if it weren’t for people wanting our work.
so what i came to realize on a heart level, welling with gratitude, was what i have known on an intellectual level but hadn’t felt so deeply…this bowl didn’t hold just mac n’ cheese within it’s curved walls, it contained the sun, the rain, sacrifice, hard work, ingenuity and generosity…indeed, it contained the entire world.