Weekend Meditation: Fallow TIme

It's harvest month here in The Kitchn, so a metaphor from the fields feels appropriate. The one that intrigues me the most these days is fallow time. Technically, fallow refers to not planting seed on a field, allowing it to rest, to be unproductive.

These days, being unproductive is a rather radical suggestion.

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But it's one worth considering. Who are you when you're not doing, producing, creating a future in the present? Is it possible to try, even for a few hours, not to achieve anything? What might happen?

There's a beautiful image from the ancient texts of a still pond in the middle of the forest where eventually all sorts of animals come to drink. It might be interesting and informative to see what visits you when you're quiet and still.

Fallow time can be a Sunday afternoon, or it can be an entire phase of one's life. But it's important to allow for it and to respect it as part of a process, a part of life. I used to feel anxious in fallow times and it's only been recently that I've been able to consider the possibility that the anxiety is extra, that there's wisdom and trust in pausing. It's worth trying out.

Food for fallow time: since this is not about making anything, simple foods are best. Dried apricots, apples, almonds, a wedge of cheese. Maybe your fallow time food would be packaged peanut butter crackers and slim jims. Or maybe you'd fast, sipping weak tea.

The harvest is almost in, and despite these difficult times or perhaps even because of them, it will soon be the season to prepare for the coming quiet, the blanket of snow, the still and fallow field.

(Images: Dana V)

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Weekend Meditation

Dana Velden has just finished writing her first book: Finding Yourself in the Kitchen: Meditations and Recipes from a Mindful Cook which is based on her Weekend Meditation posts from The Kitchn. (Rodale Press, September, 2015) She lives in Oakland, CA.