a friend (who is of course a poet!) first introduced me to the idea of breakfast as ‘breaking a fast.’ i don’t know why it never occurred to me until she said it, but once she said it, i knew that breaking fast would have a place in my life. i just didn’t know how.
when i began mourning, i knew i had found the place for it.
every night around 6 pm, i began my nightly fast. and when i wake up the next morning, i meditate and then break fast. sometimes reading, sometimes meditating on how lucky i am to be eating the food i’m eating–or that i even woke up that day. none of us are ever promised another day or even another minute. there is a story of buddhist monks that clean and turn over their bowls and cups and put away all their belongings every night so that if they don’t wake up in the morning, they will not have caused extra work for others.
to reckon with death, to make it visible it on my own terms, it helps.
and as a mother, to demand time to myself before the day starts or to insist that dinner be served on my time rather than when everybody else wants it, it’s been a new experience. one that has taken some adjusting and getting used to. what do you mean, mama gets time to herself? what do you mean, mama is reading a book instead of taking care of us?
breaking my fast is a ritual of mindfulness. even mothers are human beings whose time on earth is precious and necessary simply because they are human beings. not just vessels.
this morning, it is simple. rice crispies, a banana, some tea, some water. it is simple, but it is a gift i give to myself, that the universe shares with me.
this blessed food that gives life,
this blessed water that is life,
this blessed life that is everything.