Do you know how long it takes me to realize something? Apparently a long time. Some things are easy. Like a new friendship or a new dress – like and like – done. Or a really pretty shower curtain?! Love it – done! But sometimes it takes me a long time. Like when I found out that I could never eat a slice of wedding cake ever again (unless of course I had been invited to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding – then I would have eaten every last piece) because I have celiac disease. The simplest way to explain is that I never get to eat “normal” cake, pizza, cookies, pretzels, pasta, cheese whiz (well who really wants that anyway?!) ever again. Ever. Do you know what that means for a mid-western girl who grew up in America and loves Swiss Cake Rolls more than life? It means the entire world is made of gluten.•Gluten is a protein in most conventional flours that allows it to bind easily – and if you have celiac disease it causes you severe illness. So when I say the entire world is made of gluten – it is. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are riddled with gluten – waffles, pancakes, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps, tortillas, fried chicken, cookies, sun-chips – so.many.things!•For the longest time – the no’s outweighed the yes’s. No bread. No toast. No donuts. The tears outweighed the smiles. No donuts. The anger outweighed the joy. No donuts. And then, little by little something began to happen. I suddenly realized that I was thinking about food. And I was thinking about it with reverence. The kind of reverence you give an aging grandparent or a sick family pet.•The entire world is made of gluten – so therefore – I have to pay attention. I don’t get to thoughtlessly prepare a meal, or pop a snack in my mouth. Every bite is a thought, a decision, a question, a privilege, and an opportunity. I believe that most Americans put very little thought into what they put into their mouths. It’s second nature to run though the drive though lane and order a quick meal or grab a dressing and slather your salad with it. But for me – I have to slow down enough to plan, think, decide and then act. That “action” then, has become something that has been nurtured, cared for and loved.•We often move at the speed of light, tending to slow down only when our children or we are ill. I think this keeps us from thinking and realizing, along with holding and accepting. How long does it take you to realize some things? What are the ways you have been given (sometimes backhanded) opportunities in your life to thrive and think, prepare and appreciate? However big or small – we all have them.
What’s your gluten?