Home.

Much has happened in the months between my last post and now. I graduated as a Natural Foods Chef from the Nutrition Therapy Institute. It was an absolutely invaluable education that combined formal culinary training with nutrition therapy and business/marketing. I focused my projects on nutrition psychology: the links between food and mood and mental health. My aim is to help people regain vitality through the cathartic art of cooking, targeted nutrition, and community built around the dinner table.

Me and my graduating class of chefs at NTI.

Me and my graduating class of chefs at NTI.

I also held a few PeaceMeals in Denver, Colorado, with an absolutely amazing group of women. I learned so much from them and they made that city feel like home.

And then faster than you can say, “Bon appetite!”, we moved again! My husband accepted a job in Maryland, and bam! Here we are. It seems that as soon as you sit still long enough in one place to feel like it is home, then it’s off again to another place, to restart there. A new home, new community, new tables for PeaceMeals.

During culinary school, we catered for homeless youth at Denver's Urban Peak

During culinary school, we catered for homeless youth at Denver’s Urban Peak

I never thought I’d end up on the East Coast of the U.S. again, but life has a funny way of making twists and turns that we never anticipate.

More than ever, however, I crave a deep feeling of home.

Home. It means many things to many people. My family used to say, “home is where the passport is,” as we have all moved around so much (my sister currently lives in South Korea, my brother in South Africa…) But right now I just need to be in one place. I want to see PeaceMeals blossom. I want to do fruitful work. I want to get to know my neighbors. And I want to step off this rocking boat of change and feel stable again.

Don’t get me wrong. All this moving and education and marriage over these past few years has been amazing. Blessings beyond belief. But now it is time to put down some roots. Change, anticipated or not, can be exhausting.

Home is a concept that I am exploring now. What does it mean? Especially for someone who has lived out of suitcases and half-packed boxes for a lot of her life (as I stare at the boxes in my living room which serve as tables right now…) What does it mean for the refugee, or the ‘homeless’ person on the street?

PeaceMeal at a home Denver.

PeaceMeal at a home Denver.

Surely home is more than a building or structure. That’s called a house. Home is more than possessions. It has to be more than a passport.

For me, home is a sense of belonging. Home is a sense of peace and wellbeing and safety. Home is the sentiment we try to create at every PeaceMeal. No matter what is going on in life – all the crazyness and stress and unknowns, etc – there is a space where you know you are welcome. You are protected. You have worth and can speak up. And then we try to cultivate ways to bring this sense of home into every day life.

And then, to invite people into your “sphere of home” is another layer of community which requires vulnerability and humility. Perhaps your life is messy and chaotic and you have boxes for furniture. But we each have something to share, and as Albert Einstein once said,

“Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men.”

Perhaps being a “home-maker” is my highest calling. I am here to help other men and women know that they are welcomed into a home. I’m just trying to figure out what that means for me now, in this new place, where I barely know anyone.

I love a good move. A fresh start. A reinvention of self. I am happy to be home.

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