Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rice Cereal

It's amazing how smells and certain foods can conjure up memories or emotions from the past. Some say that memories of scent are the strongest... I remember in college once, during "campaign week" (the campaign for student government, that is), I was walking to class in the cool of the early morning and smelled the spray paint on the bed sheet campaign-posters. The cold combined with the spray paint reminded me of:

Yes... that probably sounds a little weird. But one of the aspects of the holiday season when I was growing up was Momma's ceramic nativity sets which she always made for the parish holiday bazaar. We would help base-coat the pieces and then she would seal them (with a clear spray-paint-like sealer). Then she would antique them (somewhat like wood stain which is wiped off so the cracks and crevices of the figure are highlighted) and seal them again. The she would add the detail to the pieces and... seal them again. So the spray-paint smell was a big factor in our Christmas preparations.

This morning for breakfast we had a delightfully nostalgic dish--rice cereal. It's very simple:

1-2 cups leftover cooked rice
cinnamon sugar to taste

But eating it this morning brought back a lot of fun memories for me from childhood. 'Course, T and I used brown rice instead of white rice (because T likes it better), and we used raw milk instead of pasteurized milk.. but it was still delicious :) It reminded me of late evening snacks before going to bed, which reminded me of Mexican hot chocolate after a late-night summer dip in the pool, which reminded me of so many more fun memories (like playing barbies all day and waking up in the morning to keep playing all day again).

How good it is to have senses! How good it is to enjoy and experience the world in such a concrete, tangible way; to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste God's goodness. Being Catholic, sensory experience has always been an important part of my life. I was taught to watch for important signs at Church. I learned to recognize that certain music meant certain things. I smelled the incense at Mass and knew this was something special. At the Kiss of Peace I always wanted to shake everyone's hand (what sociable little kid doesn't?). The simple taste of the Eucharist is a familiar comfort which so often reminds me of my very first Holy Communion.

My thought for the day, then, is this: God gave us bodies for a reason. Through them we are called to know, experience, and understand the world around us. Many people will tell you not to leave your brain at the door of a church (as in: use your powers of reason in faith too). I'd like to add to that: don't leave your body there either.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful trip down memory lane Annie. You make me want to go have cinnamon-sugar toast. UUUMMM, another yummy cinnamon treat!