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Eater’s Almanac: Choosing to change


Eater’s Almanac is our weekly newsletter for the Huss Project Farmer’s Market. You can receive a print copy each week at the market, which includes a recipe for seasonal vegetables!

Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

In the past year and a half, change has dropped on all of us like a giant asteroid out of the sky. In February 2020, maybe we still thought it would miss us, but by March, we were coming to terms with a direct hit as so many aspects of society disrupted and questions multiplied 20 times faster than answers. Loss piled on top of loss: loved ones, shared celebrations, school years, a sense of predictability.

There is no balm for some of these wounds, no do-over for certain missed experiences. Platitudes will not bring back the dead or undo wildfire destruction or magically erase patterns of injustice. But all this time, we’re learning. And all this time, the non-human world continues to do its work.

Even in the midst of great uncertainty and sorrow, we always have choices, and times of disruption are also often times of opportunity for change. As the growing season winds down, now is a good time to take advantage of one new food preservation goal—maybe applesauce for the freezer or a crate of potatoes to keep in the basement. As we approach many holidays again, it’s a good time to reconsider our traditions with family and friends. Which rituals are life-giving and which ones need to be reimagined? What other choices in our lives are waiting patiently for us to notice and tend to them?

We can choose joy. We can choose hope and creativity and grace. And let’s also be sure to choose compassion, to bring solidarity if not healing to all of the living things around us that remain burdened by grief.

Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Kirstin is a member of the *culture is not optional core community and is the Head Caretaker at GilChrist Retreat Center.