Sustenance for the soul

Living mindfully is my nature, its how I have always lived my life. I don’t stress on the past, I don’t worry about the future, I live in the moment. Thats not to say I lead an entirely carefree life, I simply don’t worry. I think I was born with a natural inclination for mindfulness and a innate spirituality and inner peace. I also read the Tao of Lao Tzu when I was about 10 and one of the most resonating passages for me was along the lines of ‘ if there is a problem and you can solve it, why worry and if there is a problem and you cannot solve it why worry’.
If there is a problem or an obstacle or a goal or a dream I think practically and organise how to solve or achieve. People often confuse mindfulness with having no ambition but its not the case at all.
Sometimes I am shocked into realising I drift into living in kind of a bubble, where I think that because I have lived this way for so long surely most people do by now too. It’s odd because although I do feel like I have an extra awareness in life, of our connection to nature, the earth, to each other, somehow I tend not to pay much attention to the people around me in public arenas.
Yesterday after shopping with the boys, they begged me to go to play at McDonald playground and get a slushie. Slushies were discovered a few months ago via a family friend and the boys have been relentless in their pursuit of slushies since. I decided to Acquiesce to their request and we went o out local maccas.
Living in small town, there aren’t many playgrounds and they drive past this one all the time so it must look inviting to their bright eyes. I sat on a table outside and observed the scene around me.
First observation was why was the playground actually inside a cage. Ceiling high metal bars and security gates. This struck me as so strange and at odds with everything I have come to learn about childhood and free play. I understand needing a fence for younger kids, but the metal bars just felt so containing and confining. Clearly the children didn’t mind as they were all having a great time playing, but on a deeper psychological level is says so much about this society we live in.
A family sat down and one of the children arrived to the table hands empty, he had not realised his food was still inside. The woman scolded him harshly for his apparent stupidity, meekly he sat down while the man got up and went inside to retrieve the missing item, also bringing back with him a straw for the boys drink. While the man leaned over to push the straw in the boy moved slightly and the man accidentally pushed the drink on the ground. The woman was instantly enraged, first at the ‘stupid’ boy and then at the ‘stupid’ people who had put the lid on the drink who had apparently been so stupid they didn’t put in on well enough to stop it coming up when knocked off a table. Their whole meal time interaction was punctuated with stress and anger.
The food they were eating was prepared inside by people who I am fairly certain have little love for cuisine, and its unlikely that they prepare the meals with intention and love. The whole process of the meals this family consumed was of dead flesh, routine, hurry, unfeeling, mixed with anger. How can it be that people not care that the very thing that sustains and gives them life, their food, is bought and consumed in such a way?.
This society has normalised detachment from children, detachment from the food cycle, detachment from life.Food is ingested into our bodies, it becomes part of our lifeforce, it becomes part of us, it sustains and nourishes us. The ritual of eating is as old as humanity itself, and there is much joy to be found in the whole cycle of food preparation and eating. I truly think that many of the worlds problems could be solved if we all applied mindfulness to our dietary habits.

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