Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Village People

They say no man is an island. They live on the mainland, for I am an island unto myself, and you may be too.

Of all the things that I have been blessed with (Tom Green 'good' looks, Barry Gibb fly away hair, George Burns spine, Celine legs, Jamie Farr nose), I'm most grateful for my imagination which Ironmans its way though each and every day. It's a rare day that sees me thinking vanilla thoughts, and though my body may be a gnarled isthmus, my mind is a tropical island. Sure, there are a few mosquitoes buzzing around my island, but all in all, it's a good place to hang my straw hat.

The quote 'no man is is an island' came from a British dude who done called himself John Donne. He penned, likely quilled, the 'no man...' quote in 1624, just eight years after Bill Shakespeare stopped breathing. John also gave us 'for whom the bell tolls'. Here's the passage where those immortal words live...

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."

John Donne done well, though I feel badly for the dumb clod who be washed away by the sea. I'll bet he was a tourist at Peggy's Cove.

As much as I'm relatively certain that my mind is an island, albeit one with a user friendly dock and small grass airstrip for incoming dialogue, my body is fed by a village. The village people, those pictured above, have helped to keep me alive during these past thirty-one days.

Today is August the first, and that means that the hundred mile diet is over. As sure as I'm typing these words, I'm alive. In many ways I'm more alive than I was when I started the hundred mile diet. I feel healthier. I look healthier, in a less Tom Green, more Kevin Costner kind of way. I could dance with wolves, or salsa with Shelties, the way I'm feeling.

This, of course, creates a dilemma. My plan was to do the hundred mile diet for one month. It's over, but it isn't. Truth be told, I love the hundred mile diet so much that I'm going to carry it forward for the foreseeable future. There will be some changes, for example when I go to Sussex or Fredericton or, god forbid, Minto, I'll eat whatever I can find for lunch, though I'll make my choices wisely. I expect never to set foot in a Tim Horton's again in my life (may I be crushed by a two ton Timbit if I darken their doorstep).

I've learned so much during the past month. I now know where my food comes from. I understand that a free range, organic chicken tastes more tender than a a cooped up, doped up, nutless capon. Seriously, it's nice knowing that my chicken isn't neurotic or my steak isn't pumped full of bovine growth hormones, antibiotics or Oil of Olay.

I like buying directly from the people that raise the livestock or grow the produce. I feel more in touch with my world. It would be easy to hop up on a soap box and start preaching right now, but I won't. The hundred mile diet is working for me, enough said.

My trips to the local vegetable stands were supplemented by the overwhelming generosity of the village people. Ken Appleby dropped off some turnip greens, mustard greens and onions from his garden. David and Sonia, of Motts Landing Vineyard, provided green beans, cucumber, rhubarb and their wonderful MLV wine to keep me lubricated and nourished. Colin Moore, Jackie and Allan Straight's grandson, delivered fresh and leafy lettuce from Jackie's garden. Shena Hornell very thoughtfully gave me some gorgeous yellow zucchinis, which I may have to photograph before I eat. Howard and Marilyn Erb supplied us with herbs to make herb butter, garlic scapes to put some punch in our meals, and salad greens that make a store bought iceberg lettuce look and taste like Wonder Bread. Beyond that, Howard and Marilyn assisted my son to start his own garden. We've been enjoying sugar snap peas and we're looking forward to much more in August.

The hundred mile diet has been most rewarding within a ten mile radius of the micro-peninsula on which I live. I thought this lifestyle shift was about the food but, in fact, it's every bit as much about the people. Both farmers and friends. When these people ring the dinner bell, I know for whom the bell tolls. It's me....welcome to my island.

No comments:

Post a Comment