When I decided to open the can of slightly expired dark red kidney beans last night to add about 20 beans to my supper of plain white rice, out of habit I almost drained the liquid covering the little red jewels in the can. I turned the can and read the label: prepared kidney beans, water, sugar, salt… SUGAR and SALT??!! I almost poured those precious friends right down my sink!
I savored those 20 sugar- and salt-flavored beans in my rice dinner, and when later I was transferring the rest of the can to an empty plastic Coolwhip container for safekeeping, I said aloud, “Look at all these beans to eat! I’m gonna be just fine this week!” to which John replied, “Just that one can?”
John doesn’t know how comfortable I am being hungry all the time now. But my hunger is like a friend, as long as I don’t overexert myself and then start feeling whoosy and light-headed. No working out at the Wellness Center this week. How Fatima walked 7 days and nights to Jordan on virtually no food is beyond me.
Here’s the story of Maya and her family. She says of her life in Syria before they had to leave: “It was a simple life and such a beautiful one.” She loved sunset strolling in the park with her husband and meals every night with the kids.
Before coming to Jordan, Maya and her husband moved their whole family by motorbike from village to village, trying to stay ahead of the bombings. “We wanted so desperately to stay. Syria was our home and we continued to move to stay safe, but the day came when we couldn’t risk our family’s lives anymore.”
Since fleeing to Jordan four years ago, Maya and her husband, Elias, say they continue to make sure that the family always eats together. “It’s tradition, and we didn’t want the war to take the moments we share together. There is not enough food to go around, but we make the food last by making the dishes smaller and sharing between us.”
Such a simple thing…being intentional to sit and eat with those you love.
Such a simple thing…feeling grateful for 20 beans flavored with salt and sugar.
Such a simple thing…going with less ourselves so that we might share more with those we love (and might those loved ones include our neighbors, too?) This is the question I’m holding onto today: how can I hold onto my hunger for simplicity after this week is done?