November 10, 2023
“Make sure it doesn’t slip.”
My mom told my Dad to place the food mill over the clear mixing bowl while she spun the crank. The cooked apples passed through the sharp blade and emerged as sauce on the other side.
I smiled. How many years had I watched my mom fill canning jars, capturing the apple bounty? And before that, my Grandma?
My mind wandered as I watched my mom spin her fall magic. While the moment was peaceful, my insides felt unsettled. All week news clips flashed of unspeakable violence, hatred and war.
How do we have moments such as these when THAT is happening in the very same moment on the other side of the world?
I don’t actually know.
So I started making soup.
The slow chop of onions, the unmistakable fragrance of garlic in the pan, the sizzle as I poured chicken stock into the oversized pot – with each step the process grounded me and brought me to the present.
When the world feels like it’s falling apart, I find myself running toward embodied practices:
- Reading a good book
- Cooking whole food
- Taking my dog on walks
- Focusing on deep, cleansing breaths
- Practicing Lectio Divina
- Making applesauce with my family
In the midst of the swirling and whirling, these are the anchors that help me ride the giant swells of a world in chaos.
CS Lewis once penned in his 1948 essay “On Living in an Atomic Age”:
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things – praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts – not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
This doesn’t mean we don’t care. No, we care a great deal. We care and pray and mourn for those who are suffering, and we also go on living our lives, appreciating the seemingly small and mundane moments.
Because the world is wild.