Books have always been an extremely important part of my life. Every childhood day ended in a bedtime story and I would sometimes ache and yearn for the year when it was finally time to learn how to read. After 1st grade hit, there was no stopping me. Library visits resulted in my brother, mother, & me lugging 20 or so books home, where I would race in the house and mentally prepare an order of who would be read first. Sometimes it would be too much to wait for and I’d attempt to multi-task. Never a good idea. The stories would begin to blend together as one and I couldn’t separate one story from the next.
Usually when I haven’t seen a friend in a while (one who is a like minded reader) in at least the first fifteen minutes, one of us will ask, “so what are you currently reading?’
WELL, thanks for asking 🙂 At the moment, I am reading, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”, by Barbara Kingsolver. It is absolutely wonderful & unbelievably inspiring. The funny thing about this particular book is that I bought it two years ago, took a crack at it, but couldn’t get through the first chapter. Thinking it was just me being weird, I pushed it along to a friend, who also couldn’t get over the first chapter hump. Oh well, back on the bookshelf it went. It would be read eventually…. Looking back, I don’t think I was ready for what “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” had to offer.
The story opens with Kingsolver and her family getting ready to move from Arizona to a farm they own in the Southern Appalachian mountains. For one year they planned on working the land and using every resource their home and neighborhood made available. The idea was to grow and raise as much as possible and if they couldn’t make it, would purchase from farmer’s markets or neighboring farms. Sounds scary right? Luckily, she had been preparing for this experiment for a while, in addition to having grown up with a family farming back round. Oh jeez, if I was in her shoes, a year with nothing store bought would mean a year of misery & starvation. Hopefully, I would have known a year ahead to prepare: can some tomatoes, freeze certain fruits & vegetables, & get a couple chickens.
With each page read I daydream about a farm of my home, hopefully somewhere in the hazy future ahead. Mornings spent feeding the chickens and tending to my garden. August filled with bountiful amounts of vegetable, so much in fact that I would have no idea what to do with them all. I’d sun dry tomatoes, make sauces, pickle everything in sight, and enjoy the freshest vegetables ever tasted. The joy and satisfaction Kingsolver receives while watching the cycle of life is something I could only hope for my future. How blessed a life to eat a meal that was watched from the beginning of it’s journey to it’s end.
I still have a ways to go in the book – currently in August – so am very interested to see how they enjoy their fall crops and make plans for the winter. It’s interesting how “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” has been like anything else in life – it can mean absolutely nothing until your ready – and now unlike others I have read, am leisurely walking through the chapters, enjoying all the lessons and tips that Kingsolver hands my way. Sure, I probably won’t own land for a long long LONG time, but definitely the next place I live will include my very own garden. In the meantime, I am becoming more aware of where my food comes from and enjoying and truly appreciating the fresh vegetables from my family’s garden .