Sometime recently I started craving canned peaches. A friend left some store-bought canned peaches at our house, which I later ate…maybe that was the original impetus. They didn’t taste like Mom’s home-canned ones, though. How could they? Ripe peaches are too delicate to be handled by machines.
I even intended to can some of my own – but I bought them at the grocery store and they rotted before they ripened. I was too busy and tired in that season to get any at the farmers market, and I missed my opportunity.
Most thankfully, my dear sweet mother (thanks, Mom!) gave me three jars of home-canned peaches at Christmas and ho-lee-cow, they are magnificent. I scarfed down an entire pint one day when I was feeling poorly, and those peaches were food of the gods. Not, perhaps, a critical food for survival, but they sure made life more worth living on a day when I felt fairly wretched. I’m rationing out the last two pints. One will, I believe, become a treat in February (the armpit of the year) and the third will be saved against a time of extreme need, when love and sunshine in a jar would be the perfect remedy.
This – and my recent musings on balance and such – has led me to choosing a somewhat radical theme for next year: happiness. Enough of practicality! I’ve focused for the last several years on filling the pantry with a goodly quantity of calories, protein, and fat; on heating and cooling; on clean water. I’m not an expert at all of that yet, and I’m still going to grow a big garden and store a bunch of food, but I’d like a different focus for next year. So I think I’ll explore a different realm: fun food, celebration fare, things we eat just because they bring us joy.
And maybe I’ll play with other activities along the lines of joy and relaxation as well…fun things to do when the lights are out, the roads impassable, and the ‘net is down. Dealing with a slower rate of change, less influx of novelty. I don’t think people shop compulsively because they think stuff will make them happy; they do it because shopping brings something novel into their lives. We are accustomed to a very high rate of change and novelty – what happens when that slows down? Scott and I have done a whole lot of curling up under cozy blankets and reading this holiday season, and you know what? It’s awesome. Unimaginative, repetitive…and really, really satisfying. Until it got boring, which it did occasionally. So maybe I’ll hunt up other activities like that: soul-satisfying and enjoyable, happy-making and still sustainable.
Wow. That sounds kinda…fun. Could be a good antidote to a lot of the stress and gloom out there. 🙂