Foraging

After making all those purchases i owed my credit card company a lot of money. I paid the minimum i had to in order to avoid interest on the balance and decided that i could not allow myself to make any further purchases until my paychecks had gone to completely paying off the credit card. This meant i could no longer buy weekly food at the grocery store. I began living off the dry items in the pantry. Mostly rice and beans and one bag of oats. After a month i began to hunger for something different; flavor and texture wise. I missed fruit immensely. I missed crunchy things.

Every grasshopper looked like gold to me. Every wild onion flower spoke of buried treasure and i spent hours digging up chunks of grass all over the property with the shovel, trying to unearth these tiny morsels of sustenance.

I discovered both the bulb and the green part of the wild onion were edible. I separated them into my apron pockets as i dug and put them into baggies upon returning to the house.

One night i found two little russet potatoes i had put in the refrigerator door when they had started sprouting and i sought to stop the process. I had forgotten about them. I hurriedly grabbed my baggies of foraged wild onions and stalks. There would be real food, real sautéed food for supper that night. The kitchen would make something other than mashed lentils and rice gruel. Something to chew!

Around this time my cherry tomatoes on the potted porch plant began to ripen. Each one was a life sustaining morsel of goodness to me. Something to taste. Something to provide nutrition.

I took nothing for granted at this time. I saw the value in every tomato, every onion, every insect i was able to capture and i thanked God for giving me the opportunity to eat.

Every evening i would spend a little time foraging for bugs and wild edibles. I was reminded of my childhood when we had unearthed the tiny wild onions to use as food for our troll dolls and placed them into the little plastic chests we took with them on their migrations. In every play story we enacted the troll dolls were fleeing to escape some kind of persecution and they took only their children and the food chests with them. They would cross rivers and climb mountains in order to finally start a life anew in the back yard where there was warm weather, plenty of sunshine, and the barbies and polly pockets were tolerant of each others’ differences.

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