On Waiting

“The main barrier standing between ourselves and a local-food culture is not price, but attitude.  The most difficult requirements are patience and a pinch of restraint–virtues that are hardly the property of the wealthy.  These virtues seem to find precious little shelter, in fact, in any modern quarter of this nation founded by Puritans.  Furthermore, we apply them selectively:  browbeating our teenagers with the message that they should wait for sex, for example.  Only if the wait to experience intercourse under the ideal circumstances (the story goes), will they know its true value.  ‘Blah blah blah,‘ hears the teenager: words issuing from a mouth that can’t even wait for the right time to eat tomatoes, but instead consumes tasteless ones all winter to satisfy a craving for everything now.  We’re raising our children on the definition of promiscuity if we feed them a casual, indiscriminate mingling of foods from every season plucked from the supermarket, ignoring how our sustenance is cheapened by whole sale desires.”

-Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Thanks for the book, Fr. R.B.!

I think she has a point, don’t you?  What do we wait for anymore?  Not information, there’s the internet.  Not food, there are microwaves.  Not TV shows, even: we have DVR.  Not letters, a phone call is quicker.  Not babies, their ‘delivery’ is scheduled for our convenience or our doctor’s.  There does seem to be a pattern.

2 Replies to “On Waiting”

  1. damn that’s harsh. we do eat less tomatoes in the winter, but we still like them and have also learned the lesson of chastity. the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I see where she’s coming from though. I just read “In Defense of Food” This one is near the top on my “to read list”

  2. I had an apologetics and sacraments teacher in high school who addressed the issue of “waiting” during one of his lectures. He said that in a society so overwhelmed by the “costs” of waiting,inclined to rush, the most valuable wait we have every week is that of the line to receive Holy Communion at Mass. If only we could take that reverant anticipation, that understanding that our wait is for something larger and more worthy than comprehensible, and apply it to other “waits” in our lives…we’d be much better off.

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