by Molly Bajgot
We’re nearing a time when the Earth will not provide as bountifully as it has in the past. In exchange for a loss of resources, I believe the Earth is pleading for us humans to return to ourselves, our deep souls, so we recognize a bounty that lives within us. Could this lead to the feeling of fertility in the human spirit, we may extend the times of plenty.
Answering this call is not easy. We cannot stop deadlines so we may each have the time return to ourselves as a form of resiliency. It’s a necessary evil to take this time. We may feel that we’re missing out on other activities, events, or conversations, or that we are not getting done as much work as we need to do. Yet there are moments in each day that we can seek the quiet retreat and go a little deeper, find a little more space.
Since I received the Elul writing project, I've decided to practice coming back to myself and following my instincts around taking time to be alone. The result has been time after work dancing, painting, hanging art, swimming, hiking, and listening! Who knew I had so much to say to myself. Some hangouts have been hard; I haven’t been the best of company at those times. But I exit these periods of time alone with a better understanding of me and my method of interacting with the world. I tune in with what my body wants, my spirit and my tongue for speech…I react with kindness to my friends and family, and say what I mean, say what I need. As a wise woman once told me, me are always working to maintain our ‘neutral.’
I think our souls are like bread dough that needs warmth to rise: our souls desire the heat of our beings to nurture our internal culture. At some point we get punched down as a test to our abilities, and need to remind ourselves of our importance, kindness, and intelligence to rise back up, overflowing the bowl. We bake the loaf, swallow a chapter of life, and start another.
Let’s bake bread with those around us—encourage our friends to take space to nurture themselves and warm the internal culture that is their ‘soul bread.’ For this New Year, let us practice feeding ourselves, for we can only effectively exchange light with others when we do.
Molly Bajgot is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst studying Sustainable Food and Farming with a concentration in Food Systems and Production. She is a strong believer in holistic systems and loves to cook, sing loudly, and live in the Pioneer Valley.