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By Bev Patterson

FREDERICK BUECHNER SAYS, “to find your vocation you must find where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.” In the last several years I’ve discovered the simple act of cooking is what brings me great joy. You can imagine how my vocational inspirations came to a crushing halt, how cruel fate seemed, when the doctor told my husband Paul that he had onset diabetes. It didn’t help that the doctor told me emphatically, “no more baking!”

Aside from the initial worry and panic about Paul’s health, I admit I had bouts of self-pity and anger because I was being denied my newfound creative expression. Cooking was my art form. My freedom and self-expression was being threatened! I imagined giving away my burgeoning collection of cookbooks. More dear to me, the bread maker that I use almost daily and my marble pastry slab on which I was beginning to learn the fine art of pie making, were both headed for industrial Glad bags.

My expansive imagination was fast becoming limited and constricted by a set of rigid rules. Would a dull palate of browns, beiges and murky greens replace my colourful experiments with textures and tastes? Cooking would have to leave the culinary playground and again become drudgery. This medical newsflash had me cooking bland indistinguishable slop as if I were a peasant living in the Gulag.

I’m not sure what snapped me from this dismal vision, but something broke me out of my frump; a transformation was set in motion. I guess my imagination was not willing to tolerate a black-and-white world, even if Paul’s diagnosis seemed uncreative. Perhaps it is the in breaking of healing energy that refuses to be held back by a limited medical model. Perhaps it is the simple discovery that when we seek with heart and soul, resources abound in many forms including the people I met with words of wisdom and balance. Bookshelves are filled with newfound knowledge; options that break the stereotypes of a diabetic diet abound. Perhaps my search was met, most importantly and ultimately, by the healing property found within the Spirit and its ability to flood the everyday. Spirit, cooking and the process of eating are fast friends with whom I became joyfully re-united.

It’s been a little over three months since the doctor first gave Paul his “wake-up call” but these last three months have been just as much an adventure into the world of food and “kitchen art” as before. This path still offers the excitement of discovery. It is as if this new turn in the road, while at first something I resisted, is only another opportunity to bring great joy and great need together.

blue rule


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