In the beginning of 2017 I took over the operation of a pay-what-you-can vegan lunch café here in the heart of meat-and-potatoes Midwest America. On December first, I gave myself a daily blogging challenge to write about this café, to tell its story, and maybe figure out a little of my own story in the process. This is Post #17. 

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. So wrote Annie Dillard, beloved pilgrim.

Chopping, sifting, stirring, plating. Load the dishwasher, do it again.

Serving food is an act of connection. I set your plate in front of you and for a moment we are participants in the same story, one that began in a field somewhere, with the planting of a seed. When I serve the person at the next table, they, too, are drawn in to the story. And when I take the parings of the day’s vegetables to the compost and leave them to decay, the story expands to include the earthworm and the microbe, and the raccoons and the burrowing creatures, all of whom help themselves to bits and peelings and rinds and rot.

The story doesn’t really expand, though, does it. It’s only my understanding of it that has expanded. The vast matrix of connections has been there all along.

This is how I spend my days: in an ebb and flow of an ever-expanding story, bounded only by the universal constant of chopping, sifting, cycling through.