Your Inner Pepper
Have you ever looked inside your fruits and vegetables as you're chopping them? They're quite beautiful - the rings of a carrot, the seeds of a banana, the inner starburst of a kiwi or strawberry, or the pinwheel of an orange or onion are all striking in their colors, shapes, designs. Carrots have delicate dark orange rays spreading out from their centers, with a second band of lighter bursts of orange in their outer layer. Kiwis have amazing light green rays shining outward from the dark centers of the fruit through the lighter flesh of their outer layer. A head of lettuce, cut crosswise, reveals a maze of curling leaves that turn darker green as they approach their outmost layer.
If we're mindful, we eat slowly and savor the flavors of our foods. I find that also paying some attention to the colors and designs of the fruits and vegetables I'm preparing and eating help me to slow down and appreciate the "art" of cooking and to delight in its beauty. It's another form of nourishment - for the soul as well as the body.
Reflecting on this makes me think of the many things in our daily lives that we can either see out of habit or see with curiosity and wonder - a hummingbird at a feeder, a flower blooming in the garden, the delicate reddish-purple clouds that are lit from underneath by the setting sun. In fact, just as I was writing this, our neighborhood hawk flew into the window right in front of my desk, looked at me for a moment, and then flew off. He or she has done this with the windows of our meditation room too, and I wonder if he or she is conveying some message, is curious, or is just confused that the sky is reflected in the glass of the window. Either way, it was another living moment of wonder (since he/she didn't seem hurt...).
I invite you to open your awareness even more to the world you live in, and notice what is quietly extraordinary even if you are engaging in what seems ordinary.
Invitation: since you may have an iPhone or other cell phone camera with you much of the time, you might use it to become more aware of the presence of beauty in the world you live in - the light, the shapes, the shadows, and art of your world, even in your kitchen!