Here’s my heart
He knocked on the front door yesterday. I knew something was up due to the knock and all. He had a bloody deer heart in his hand and that wild, childlike glint in his eye. “Here’s my heart.” said he. So pleased with himself for his witty play on words. So full of wonder and pride.
A good, quick death for the deer delivered from the perches of a tree-stand he built earlier this year. A tree stand from wood he harvested in our forest. Trees cut down, hauled to the drive shed, and milled by him alone. Wood that he turned into a towering ladder that led to a platform tucked just below the stars.
We lie on there sometimes, teetering under the moon, whispering secrets to each other.
I will wrap all of that into our food with each meal I make from these animals and this land that nourishes us. The stories, the honour of our connection to this place, all of it placed into our mouths and used to build every molecule of our being.
I want to tell the true story of our food, stirred with old wooden spoons, seasoned with tradition, celebrated with an understanding of our role in the natural world. It is abundance and connection immeasurable by caloric tables and macronutrient breakdowns. It’s the story that’s been lost, replaced by a gnawing void that can’t be filled.
A constant craving.
Belonging is the gift bestowed when we acknowledge and celebrate our animal-ness. Our role found in the heaving, wild world. It’s the satiation the hungry soul lusts for. She heals us, feeds us, delivers us from the fog of modernity that tells us stuff bought and outward acclaim give us worth.
Truthfully, it’s that guy, with a bloody heart in his hand, beating only moments earlier. That connection and sadness, joy and excitement, the hard work and the stillness, heartbreak and awe. All of it fully experienced and lived.
All the messy stuff it is to be a human. Humbled by the realization that we, too, are here but for only a moment. Just another animal trying to live it while we got it.