All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. ~ Charles M. Schulz
With all due respect, I believe Mr. Schulz is understating the importance of chocolate. Chocolate is the most important of the basic food groups. It is the elixir of life, the food of the gods, a perfect mingling of bitter and sweet. Clearly, I have a thing for chocolate, and the darker the chocolate, the better. More than that, I have a thing for relishing the many beautiful flavours and textures that food provides. Don’t get me wrong. If I need to, I can eat a quick bite to fuel my body and keep going with my day. But as often as possible, I like to sit down and dine, chewing each bite slowly and experiencing the unique pleasures of that particular meal. Something as simple as a baked potato becomes food art when it’s roasted in its skin, split open to reveal its fluffy interior, liberally anointed with butter and sour cream, then dusted with a dash of salt and a healthy sprinkling of freshly ground pepper. It’s a joy to cut into something that beautiful and slowly savour each satisfying bite. However, there are also the flavours that are complex, built slowly and carefully over a significant period of time using many steps and techniques, resulting in a breathtaking balance of heat and salt and bitter and nutty and sweet and earthy….in other words a Oaxacan black mole (which includes, among its many ingredients, toasted cocoa beans…be still my heart).
Like many people who grew up in a legalistic religious tradition, I was trained from a young age to discount my physical body in preference for my spirit. The problem with that is I wasn’t created solely as a spiritual being. My body plays a key role in maintaining the health of my soul. Trying to ignore my body and its senses, rather than strengthening, diminishes my soul. The simple act of pausing to celebrate and enjoy each bite of roasted potato or chicken in black mole or dark semi-sweet chocolate or the thousands and thousands of other flavours that run riot throughout creation contributes to the re-integration of my body and my soul.
This is Day 9 of 31 Days of Soul Tending and the focus is nurturing my senses by experiencing and celebrating all kinds of beauty, in this case the beauty of savouring the many flavours and textures of food. Today is a great day to sit down with your evening meal and pause to notice and take delight in each bite. Enjoy!
The previous post in this series is Looking life in the face
The next post in this series is Choosing my margins