Life in the Slow Lane

Photo by Ely Brothers Photography •

I recall the saying often quoted by my circle of friends when we were in our 20s – “Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse.” The wisdom years have brought me to a turnabout on this topic, although it’s sometimes been a struggle of personal interests, and often, still is.

The struggle is mostly due to the value that our culture places on speed, embedding it in what we choose to drive, where we choose to eat, and sadly, how we choose to live. I often feel that the value our culture places on speed teaches us that speed is good no matter what it applies to and under what circumstances. You don’t have to look far for examples of this. A friend and I were recently conversing about how people even think that reading fast is a coveted talent. He facetiously applied this attitude to other parts of our lives –

A: Had dinner last night with a friend.
B: Oh, really? How fast did you do it?
A: ?

A: The wife and I made sweet love on the boat.
B: Was it fast?
A: You mean, the boat?

But, as always, the pendulum swings both ways, at least in certain circles. The concept of “Slow Food”, a concept that originated in Italy, found its way into the United States and thankfully, into my community over the past 2 decades. The foundation of Slow Food requires that the planning, purchasing, preparation, cooking, and eating of food are all done with intentional community. And the community is not just those that you eat with; it includes those that grow the food, distribute the food, and sell the food. It includes the soil, the water, the air and the earthworms. It includes the pollinators, the rain, and the hoop house.

The act of eating becomes a communal, sacred one that supersedes football Sundays, sales at the shopping mall, Hollywood’s box office, or going to the gym. It actually provides a lesson for life – that food, like life, is enriched by the community that you belong to. The richer that community, the richer are the benefits that you reap in terms of the good health you experience with healthy, delicious food and healthy, deep relationships with other human beings. The symbiosis is completed by you making the effort to share these benefits with your community, and increasing their richness.

My Slow Food journey has just begun, but already, it is taking me to new, richer places in my life that resonate with the deepness of human relationships rather than the shallow chit-chat of people who have never shared a meal together.

Take your time, taste the food, reap the rewards.

Photo by Ely Brothers Photography •


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