Recently I have been made more aware of the blessings and need to eat food which is in season. There is a temptation with our modern age to eat whatever we want, whenever we want because it is available. But this availability has come at a cost. To have apples fresh all year means massive shipping costs. Also it does not allow for the variation of diet. Like letting the field lie fallow for a season to rest. And it assumes that my momentary desires know what is best for me. And it gives me the illusion that somehow I deserve to have whatever I want whenever I want it. There is much to be gained by waiting for those things in due season.
And from this recent learning I am starting to think that there are more lessons to be gained from living “seasonally” than just in my diet. It is cold now in the midst of winter. I live in a world of modern conveniences like furnaces. In a way I have come to expect a world of general comfort. There is a range of temperature that is acceptable to me, and the furnace will keep it that way, or an air conditioner in the summer will bring the heat down to the acceptable range. But is this acceptable range limiting me? When it is winter, it is cold. Am I missing something not to have to put on and leave on more clothes and adapt to the weather in my neighborhood? And likewise, is it bad to be hot, to slow down and perhaps rest in the heat of the day? I find that as I pay more attention to the seasonal weather, I complain about it less. When it is very cold, I remember the hot days and know they will return.
When I live without the restraints of my local food and climate I find that I do not need my local community as much, either. And with this lack of need for those around me I find that I am more isolated. Relying on seasonal food means I rely upon local farmers and not those in Chile or California. While I am trying to stay warm I find myself checking in with others more or wanting to spend more time one on one with people over a cup of tea or coffee. It is a wonderful time to reflect and deepen friendship. The weather causes me to slow down, work harder, and pay attention to what is around me. I would hate to miss the diamonds underfoot while in search for gold elsewhere.