Comfort Food

I don’t know about you, but I needed a Julie Andrews moment today:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.

I know we had a moment a few weeks back with the apple strudel, but today I was thinking about comfort; we turn to these very concrete things when we need comforting. Personally I go for hot chocolate or homemade macaroni and cheese.

This is what baby blankets and favorite sweatshirts are all about. It is why we get on airplanes we will complain about later and travel thousands of miles to visit friends and family. It is the magic that printed books and hand-written letters still hold. It is the reason my purring cat was not immediately booted off my lap when he started to bat at me while I typed.

I don’t know anyone who, when the world is weighing heavily, prefers a philosophy book to a cup of tea with a friend. I hope even those who have known suffering and grief I can’t imagine or understand can touch things that comfort them.

And yet my relationship to the physical is often one of obligation or control. I tell myself, sternly, to eat four servings of vegetables a day (rarely happens) or to water the plants so I don’t feel guilty about killing them. It would be so much more life-giving—to me and the plants—to spend a little time admiring how beautiful they are or to be aware for a few breaths that I am so connected to them that I am breathing in what they recently breathed out.

My most joyful moments arise when I am physically present with other people or with nature, so why not trust that? Please pass the brownies.

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