MARTHA AVENUE- Day 26- I have been thinking about food (obvi) and our daily conversations about the menu and what we think folks need and want. And I have been thinking about how this Stay At Home/Pandemic thing has messed with our natural seasonal rhythms.
Normally, our bodies are more or less in tune with the seasons. Obviously, we are grossly removed from most seasonal energy, especially here in California, but most of us are affected by the seasons..."New Years resolutions. Spring Cleaning. Get Ready for Beach Body. End of the School Year. Vacation Time. Back To School.Holiday Season"...one way or the other. Historically of course, humans were WAY more in tune with the seasons and with our daily rhythms. And our survival depended on it. And then we invented/harnessed electricity and no longer were dependent on the natural daily rhythms. And then we invented Daylight Savings to further curate our seasonal response. None of this is bad, they're just examples of how we have removed the natural rhythm markers from our daily life.
And now... NOW we have been forced to step away from the rhythms that we have become accustomed to. Chatting with Alexandra yesterday about her current Work-From-Home situation, and in conversations with many other folks about how their bodies are vacillating between needing tons of sleep or staying up all night cleaning their bathrooms with a Q-tip, it has made me think a lot about how this pandemic and the subsequent SIP orders have sort of forced us back into Winter energy.
Bear with me now because I am going to get a bit witchy. The wheel of the year is divided into seasons (duh, winter, spring, summer and fall) and each of those seasons carries a particular energy. The more industrialized we have become, the less we are connected to those energies, but they STILL effect us and we still align a lot of our year in accordance to them.
Winter is a time for isolation, introspection, cozy blankets, warming drinks, comfort food. Ragu and Gnocchi.
Spring is traditionally a time of great energy...bunnies and blossoms and baby animals and the sun lasting longer each day. The air is fresh in the mornings, the trees are full of pollen which drifts over my car and into my front door screen, the hills of the East Bay are emerald and make me forget the insane summer heat. Tons of newly fresh vegetables coming into our farmers markets. Our bodies stretch and throw off the layers of blankets and start to crave movement again.
Summer is a time of connection and conviviality and vacations and soaking in the sun. BBQ and festive foods. Watermelon with pepper and lime. Long days, warm nights.
Fall is the time for industry. Harvest, Back to School. Reaping what we sowed in the springtime. Trees dropping their color and their leaves. Animals busy storing up for the coming winter. And then we are back again to coziness and introspection as the days wane and the nights lengthen.
(Sidebar: our bodies, especially those of us with estrogen driven bodies, follow this same circle. If anyone is interested in the correlation between our bodies and the season/wheel etc.,let me know. I can illuminate that as well. Witchiness abounds.)
Back to my point about this pandemic and how it is effecting our bodies. I feel that this pandemic and SIP has sort of forced us back into Winter energy. And coming as it did on the heels of "real" winter, we are getting a double whammy. We have been forced to return to isolation, to return to holing up in our dens, to limit our industry(work). And, it makes total sense to me why folks have been ordering Ragu and Gnocchi and warming, comforting foods. Aside from the fact that Willi's food is insanely delicious, it is actually helping us cope with this push back into winter energy.
I am also seeing that some folks (and this is just to point out that we are all having individual responses to this strange point in history) are feeling the pull for Spring. Working out, doing push-up challenges with friends on-line, getting hundreds of miles logged walking out their worries, making lifestyle changes to improve our health and mental comfort. I want to make sure that we are providing delicious things for spring energy people as well. We have added a couple soups to the roster this week that are more in alignment with Spring energy... the Potato-Wild Onion vegan Vichysoisse and the Butternut Squash Soup (also vegan) are both chock full of good vegetables. The Butternut Squash Soup sort of rides that line between Winter and Spring, as the root vegetables are traditionally winter things....because our ancestors were able to store them longer, they could eat them all winter.
We are also working on some grain/lentil salad type offerings to add to the menu in the next week or so.
Again, my musings here are meant to remind everyone that no matter where you are in the survival/thrival (not a word, I know) journey at this time, its OK. Your body and your brain will tell you what it needs. You feel tired all the time? Go ahead and take a nap. Get some fresh air, even if that means sitting in an open window rather than going out into the world. Feeling the need for more coziness and love? Get yourself into a tub, wrap your arms tightly around yourself (even if it feels silly at first) and think about those folks you love, make yourself something delicious to eat (or let us bring you something to comfort you.) You're feeling antsy with all this time on your hands and the ache for creative outlet? Go ahead, clean that bathroom again. Pretend you are cleaning MY bathroom (god knows it needs it :-). Dance it out to You Can't Stop The Beat from Hairspray turned up loud. Or Good Morning by Max Frost. Turn on Bluegrass music... Remember that old Steve Martin record that talked about how nothing seems bad when there is a banjo playing? Jump on the email and send me a note telling us what kind of food you are craving. (One of our survey folks has a hankering for homemade biscuits so we are scheming Biscuits offered with Sausage Gravy or with Strawberries and Cream. Maybe you want to weigh in on which option you would prefer!)
For now, know that THIS is one of the things that is sustaining me. The connection and love that comes back to us in every thumbs up/heart/comment/order/wave from the sidewalk/returned jar with some little note/meals bought for a friend/comforting chat. The connection with my community and the new friends that this MARTHA AVENUE endeavor has brought me. The outlet to write (and FINALLY have the ease and inspiration to do so) and to have my writing resonate with so many.
Menu for Monday will be up on Friday night, but you can count on most of our regular things being offered. We can take a few more orders for Friday, if you are feeling a last minute urge for some love-in-a-bowl.
Take care in whatever season your day feels like it is. Be kind to your winter-self, enjoy your spring-self when it's here. Hug your people. Hug yourself (it feels good even if it feels silly at first. Trust me. I do it myself) xoxo