I found myself in a batch of granola today. Instantly, for one moment, I knew how to be in the world. There was something about the way the oats absorbed the ingredients so willingly without hesitation. I felt immersed in thoughts about the butter coming from a cows udder and how someone was in tune enough to foresee that they could separate the milk and whip it into delicious energy rich fat.
And the maple syrup! We can buy it anywhere and every drop of it comes from a tree! We can drain the trees “blood” and it continues to make more and live for hundreds of years while lending us its energy source full of minerals. It just makes more.
The whole crunchy granola process always brings my entire being back. It’s such a simple process but it demands my mindful attention. If I lose focus, I burn my granola and I have to cry and start over. I usually set a timer as well as commit to being in the kitchen, present with it. I like to add salt as a contrast to the sweetness. I love life’s contrasts. Sweety sweetness and the salty saltiness. In their differences, they make the other one stand out. They hold true to what they are without apology. Salt doesn’t attempt to be sweet but it can go along with it perfectly. They are strong together and if we are able to embrace them and feel the balance they hold we will feel a certain feeling that we don’t have a name for. Different cultures have different words for this balance. I wish we did. For now, I call it a true “mmmm” said with a shiver running up through my body.
What kind of food would it be if the chef said “no, we cannot combine those ingredients because they are too different”?
And so there I was. In the granola I discovered that I can be me and anyone can be them. And together we are so strong with salty and sweet and we welcome in sour and bitter and please let there be spicy along the way. And don’t get me started on colours and textures, oh my! We need them all.
Because it takes all kinds.