On Thanksgiving we "bless the hands that feed us" - which happens to be the title of my new book. I will adopt this day every year as the book's birthday. Close to Thanksgiving 2010 Viking/Penguin said yes! to my proposal. Now, two years later, I am putting on the finishing touches, lacing in some nourishing recipes from local chefs and a few final suggestions on how to belong to your place through eating, celebrating and participating in the life of your community.
Later in this missive I'll list my next talks and events, but for now here is a grace for your day ~
This food is the gift of the whole universe—the earth, the sky, and much hard work.
May we live in a way that makes us worthy to receive it.
May we transform our unskillful states of mind, especially our greed.
May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness.
We accept this food so that we may realize the path of practice.
~ Plum Village chanting and recitation book, 2000, Thich Nhat Han
Soon I will write the acknowledgements for Blessing the Hands that Feed Us.There are so many who helped - farmers, friends, editors, agent, patient educators. No matter how many I name, I'm sure I'll forget someone and regret it.
Today I want to simply say how blessed I am to live where I do, among many friends in a village of a thousand, overlooking the water and mountains on an island in Puget Sound. I am woven here through all I've done - the paths I've worn in the shops and homes and theaters, the groups I've joined and formed... not the least of which is - glory be - my comedy troupe!
As I've deepened into writing my book I've discovered how powerful the title really is. To bless is to consciously radiate love, good will and encouragement to another or others. It is "I see you and know you are good." Isn't that what we've all sought so we might fully and freely give our gifts, knowing that the people we value have our backs and are wind in our sails and celebrate our lives. And "the hands that feed us" are not just cooks or farmers, but rays of sun, the river of life that is soil, the ancient codes that are seeds, all of these are "hands" in that they bestow blessings on us.
Talking about thanks, click here to see such a sweet response to my 20 year anniversary for Your Money or Your Life message. It is from Rob VanEeden and Hanneke VanVeen, the Dutch couple that spread the program far and wide throughout Europe - with their own humor and flair.
December 8, 2012: If you live on Vashon Island, Amy Morrison and I are hoping to gather foodies and farmers and food activists that evening for a conversation about strengthening regional food systems. Contact her if you want an invite.
December 11, 2012: If you live anywhere you can join the Transition US free webinar - Hyper-Locavoring - when I will share my discoveries from my 10-mile diet which led me to the idea of "relational eating" (eating closer to home) and a passion for "complementary food systems" - revitalizing regional agriculture so we might have far more of our daily fare locally grown. Through it all, I restored my hope and deepened my sense of belonging. It's going to be rich. Please join me.
December 14, 2012: If you live in Puget Sound join me for an inspiring event at the Whidbey Geodome housed in the Earth Portal Exhibit Hall at the Seattle Center.
Reception 6:30 pm, Talk - 7:30 pm. Tickets: $15. The Whidbey GeoDome show Earth Portal: A Guided Tour of the Universe and Our Place in It is included. Space is limited. RSVP to reserve tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What would it take for us to shift from anywhere eating to local eating? Resilient communities and resourceful people are transforming the way food is sourced, cooked and eaten so we can assure safe, fresh, fair, plentiful and nourishing food for all - however the political, energy and climate winds blow. This shift from industrial to relational eating, though, will rattle many structures: our preferences and habits, our disconnection from community, our social agreements about money and property and more. In her forthcoming book, Blessing the Hands that Feed Us Vicki shares her adventures in hyper local eating and explores how "local food" can scale up to make a difference in the big question of "How do we feed 9 billion people"?
January 29, 2013: I'll speak at the monthly Transition Fidalgo Seventh Generation Feast in Anacortes, Washington. Contact them for more details.
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