What the Earth Gives

I am walking with my boy and my dog on New Year’s Eve, stepping light and enjoying unseasonably warm weather. We feel the freedom of shedding the winter trappings—no hat, no gloves, no puffy coats or boots. This unfettering allows us to move along with fluid joy—Lucy Mae straining at leash.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? I ask him, as we head down to the creek.

I want to be healthier in 2011, he says.

What will you do to be healthier?

Eat better. Eat more vegetables. Less fast food. And exercise. I want to exercise more.

I am a wee bit disturbed that my eleven-year-old is preoccupied with such things. But I know he is right. We have fallen into the same trap so many families do: hurry, hurry, hurry; giving only a second thought to what we put in our bodies.

In the midst of plenty, we have forgotten how to eat, says Leslie Leyland Fields, the editor of The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting toward God. This collection of essays —our new book club selection at the High Calling—is teaching me mindfulness. This reading leads me into a greater awareness of what I turn to for nourishment.

We read the first five essays this week–tasted Wild Fruit with Patty Kirk, savored Late October Tomatoes with Brian Volck, shopped The Communion of Saints with Jeanne Murray Walker, dipped hands deep into The Land that Is Us with Ann Voskamp, and—appropriately so–studied a recipe For a Sweet New Year with Margaret Hathaway.

I think about the words from these first selections as I study my son’s profile. Does he understand the deeper implications of his words?

**Read the rest of this discussion on our first selections from The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting Toward God over at the HighCalling today. Join us in this fantastic read if you like!

photo by Elizabeth Weller, used with permission via flickr.


  1. says

    Thanks for this post Laura. I have always been aware of my relationship with food and how it affects my relationship with God.

    As a very plus sized woman, surrendering my eating habits feels like streching a rod over the Red Sea.

    I know God is quite capable of helping me every step of the way, but first I must have the courage to stretch out the rod.

    I’m going to see if I can download “The Spirit of Food..” on my Droid Kindle. If I can, then perhaps I can jump into the wonderful discussion you are having on the Higher Calling.

  2. says

    Got my book, started reading, love it. Have already recommended it to others. Have a post in my head–hope I can get it to the keyboard one of these days! Ann Voskamp’s piece was outstanding, of course–so rich with embracing, not running from one’s calling. Good, good stuff.

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