Friday 13 October 2023

Food in choice from supply

A rueful and grateful contemplation

There is always someone else whose situation and circumstances are worse than ours and, in the same spirit, one should always be grateful for the goodness and blessing that surround us even if issues tend to cloud our minds as to the relativeness of where we might be.

It is important that in recognising how fortunate one is, we do not go seeking to plumb the depths of destitution and adversity to ascertain the extent to which one should be grateful for being better off. Every lack needs supply, whether great or small.

Exiting the place, we all seem not to go straight home but stand somewhere to contemplate what we have just been through, a new low in a longer story that for many would be impossible to relate. A sense of embarrassment overcome by the realisation of need, a sense of shame bludgeoned through with a daring for survival, a sense of failure reducing you to the generosity and mercy of others.

Yea, I can recount many such situations that have become the broader tapestry of the joy of living, for without life, how can anyone experience the highs, the lows, the changes and consequently the opportunity to speak or write of such in your own words?

Parsnips for yams

On arrival, there was a registration before a helper took a list off me to ascertain what I might or might not need, through stifled giggles, we navigated an alien world into which we for the circumstances need to attempt to fit in for the sake of sustenance and keeping some of that hope alive.

She immediately recognised my heritage and she volunteered that her husband is Nigerian who likes his food fresh before saying one of those many issues with Nigerian men. It got to a point where I simply asked her to filter her list through the palate needs of anyone from West Africa and she immediately said, none of what we were viewing would work. However, we adapt.

Only what you need

The things that could work for me, I chose and left out those that just had no bearing on anything I would consider even in extremis. A box of sandwiches seeking those who hunger, the choices from simple to untenable, like horseradish with beef, horseradish is more than an acquired taste, you need to have been introduced to it under extreme torture for a long period of time to find your Stockholm’s Syndrome comfort in tasting it at will.

We were there because there was not enough and there were people and organisations willing and generous to give to a community effort of helping those who have a season and hopefully a short one of famine in the land. My sister will say to me, food is one essential commodity that should never be lacking in the home. Alas! We have not fallen to the temptation of turning stones to bread.

The food bank is both a humbling and an appreciation of the humanity that still throws an arm of love, consideration, and generosity around others, regardless of who they are.

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