The verdict for this week...crappy. It is still January, and try as I might, I cannot escape the dark mornings, the dark evenings, and the mostly dark days that pass in between. I am flooded by work that seems never-ending and am finding it difficult to find some light in this tunnel.
I was at work on Thursday, just starting my shift after a quick afternoon nap that left me groggy and shooting daggers through my eyes at anything that moved. Have you ever had that feeling? For me, it's usually right after a nap. Unfortunately, I'm never able to be rational right after a nap and explain to myself, Briana, you'll surely feel better in half an hour...just wait til you wake up a little bit more. Nope. Instead, I think the world is against me and I should go crawl in a hole. Anyway, in the midst of this storm cloud, I sat down with a cup of lemon egg soup--a classic Greek recipe called avgolemono--and let myself warm to it as its warmth settled in my mouth. In a moment, with that soup, I felt better.
Why is it that familiar foods can change our mood so dramatically? Why do we create emotional relationships with the things we eat? I can't answer this, but I know that it is true. Of course food is pleasant, fills our bellies and brings us together over the table with people we enjoy. But it has another dimension. Even if we're not hungry, or if another food could satisfy our hunger just as competently, there are certain foods that just hit the proverbial spot, that make us feel whole, feel comfortable, feel better.
Realizing this makes me happy. It's one more way to make a relationship with the world, to allow certain things to enter in and add texture, color and dimension to our lives. Why not have a relationship with food? Let it mold and carve a place of its own...
When I have the time I love to sit and eat slowly, quietly. Now it is winter and oranges fill the blue and white bowl on our counter. I like to slowly peel and eat, looking at the thousand individual pockets of juice that make up each section of the orange. Another food to make me smile, remind me of sunshine and the soft November days I used to spend at my grandparents' house in the middle of an orange grove and the gentle smell of their blossoms.
Food is so powerful because it can be the friend that always has the right things to say, that always reminds us of the best memories and comforts. When my husband can't read my mind, when the world seems bleak and my work unsatisfying, I know there are foods that can give me space for meditation, that can bring me back to myself and then, bring me back to the world.