Spring is in the air! Except sometimes it still feels like January and other times it feels like October. I crave July, though. Not the fireworks of July. Hell no. Nor do I crave the little league games overrun with pushy, bigoted parents. I don't want the carnivals or the blind patriotism or the 101 degree heat. I like the heat. Ninety-nine degrees is fine with me. But once it breaks 100? I wilt.
No, I don't crave any part of July except for the barbecues. The barbecues I never attend (not that I'm ever really invited to any of them), but the barbecues I attended in my past. When I was a kid, when I was little Meggie. Big bangs and all. Little Meggie who would always choose the hamburger over the hot dog. Little Meggie who would worry about swallowing watermelon seeds. Little Meggie who would watch distant relatives she did not know climb trees and play badminton while she sat in a plastic chair pretending she knew what the adults were saying. I'm sure an array of cookies and brownies were involved as well, right? Or at least potato salad. Definitely potato salad.
I don't know where I'm going with this. It's not even that strong of a memory. I am also not terribly nostalgic for family barbecues and dishes made from boiled potatoes. But these seemingly minor moments keep popping up in my head lately. Are they pieces of some story I have yet to put together? Maybe my mind is just getting tired of obsessing over Buddha, books, and backcountry yurts and wants the luxury of thinking about lazy barbecues instead. Who knows. All I know is that all day yesterday I was craving a medium rare burger with blue cheese and maybe some caramelized onions. I would eat a whole pineapple for dessert, juice staining my Old Navy flag t-shirt.
Please let it be known I've never owned an Old Navy flag t-shirt. Yet.
I think, deep down, this longing for barbecues is a longing for community, for a tight-knit family, for the shared experience of eating a meal with people you love. For food. For food. Community and food -- two basic necessities for the well-being of a human. I'm a human, correct? Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I wonder if I am a sloth or perhaps a cheetah, not because I am fast, but because I too am listed as vulnerable, facing various threats including loss of habitat and prey. Conflict with humans is to blame. So who or what am I?
I am hungry. I at least know that. Whether it is a hunger for connection or the simple (and incredibly complex) hunger for nourishment, the fact is that I crave. I will continue to seek out sustenance and pray that it seeps into my bones, my soul. Despite my best efforts, I must admit that I long to feel full.