This post originally appeared in the Episcopal Church in CT NE Region Weekly Newsletter:
Before this time of pandemic, if you asked me what I most valued about my Eating Liturgically project, I would say this: I value that I am grounding myself to a calendar different from the work and school calendar. Different from the secular calendar. I am putting my turning towards God first, before all those other things, by using this liturgical calendar to plan my day to day eating.
Implied in that is this: that if the work and school and secular world go to heck in a handbasket, I would still be grounded.
Or so I thought.
When we began social distancing, when work shifted to home and always being “on”, when schools closed their doors and I began my new side career of “remote learning coordinator,” when parades and town events and concerts and everything were canceled and postponed, I thought – okay. Okay, at least I am grounded in another calendar, a structure that does not change during pandemic. I can ground myself here.
How glad I am to have these years of practice in the routine of Eating Liturgically.
And then I promptly lost track of time, not knowing what day it was, not able to know what would be at the grocery store, quarantined for weeks as we waited for my son’s covid symptoms to subside.
I became un-tethered.
“Are you perhaps holding some judgment of yourself,” my spiritual director asked me recently, “some judgement that is not…helpful? Do you think you’ve failed God by not eating the right things at the right time?”
“No,” I replied, and it’s true. I don’t think I’ve failed God.
But I am newly aware that this action of turning toward God, that I’ve chosen to do through my mindful eating around the liturgical calendar, that it’s not a one and done thing. It’s not a sequence I can set up and expect to run on auto-pilot. It’s a choice I make again and again and again and again and again.
We are now in the Feast Days of Easter – 50 Feast Days in a row, running from Easter day to Pentecost. “It’s still Easter! Alleluia!” I remind my family when I finally get around to dyeing eggs, making the Bunny Cake, melting Peeps for Rice Peepsie Treats (recipe below) in the days and weeks after Easter Day. I am grateful for this long expanse of Feasting, because I am not at my best. I am not functioning as I would in the time before Covid-19. I need space to slowly gather my ingredients, my energy, my focus.
To turn to God. Again.
Rice Peepsie Treats (from delish.com)
Cooking spray, for pan
7 c. Rice Krispies, divided
9 4-count packages Peeps, in three different colors
4 1/2 tbsp. butter, divided
1. Grease an 8″-x-8” baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, then grease parchment paper with cooking spray.
2. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, combine 2 1/3 cup Rice Krispies, 12 Peeps of one color, and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, then microwave until Peeps expand and butter is melted, 40 seconds. Using a spatula or greased hands, combine until fully mixed.
3. Spread Peepsie mixture into baking dish, then press to flatten. Repeat with remaining colors.
4. Refrigerate until solid, 15 minutes, then slice and serve.