On a gloriously cloudy afternoon following nearly three months of a dry, hot Montana summer, I took a momentary pause to enjoy the burst of a blood-red Flathead cherry. I’d been busy for weeks, seeing to assignments, interviews, and writing—not to mention navigating the daily negotiations of life. The cherries were firm between my fingertips, but offered that lovely pop of juice and soft flesh between my teeth. I love cherries and was glad to give myself a long moment to indulge.
This summer I heard it everywhere: “I’m busy.” “I’m overcommitted.” “I’m overwhelmed.” People are running full throttle and I wonder: Are we playing catchup after COVID disrupted an entire year of business plans, vacations, and school? Or perhaps one year of pandemic life was enough to alter our internal balances— maybe we can’t handle stresses in the same ways anymore. We could be working with a distorted sense of time after daily schedules and routines morphed with the work-from-home wave. Or maybe pumped-up reliance on technology is driving a cognitive shift—we need to be tuned in. I must always be available.
It could be any of these things, all of these things, or something else entirely, but I too have been feeling the hustle. Of course, my own experience has been made all the busier as I prepare to birth my first child this fall.
Perhaps food can be an avenue for getting back to intention and can provide us with a way to gather, despite our differences. Perhaps food can offer a space where we can agree to hear and be heard.
As my husband and I embark onto the unknown waters of parenthood, we’re setting sail with deep intention. While we’ve begun to explore the many decisions that come with children (disposable or reusable diapers, anyone?) it has been a powerful opportunity to set my own intentions for the way I want to live in the world.
I’m concerned about climate—the hot, dry summer led to a worrisome fire season and drought that not only jeopardized my coveted Flathead cherries, but also drove hay prices through the roof and literally dried up critical water sources for agricultural producers. Ranchers are destocking, orchardists aren’t harvesting, dryland farmers are looking at the lowest wheat yield since 1988.
Beyond environmental climate, I’m also worried about community climate in the Treasure State. When did we get so angry? When did we get so quick to call each other names? What is with this growing rural-urban divide? We need to stop labeling. We need to stop othering. We need to find more empathy and more compassion. We need to listen to each other and we need to be willing to understand.
For many, food is the great equalizer—we all need it, after all. We meet over coffee and gather at the table for dinner. Perhaps food can be an avenue for getting back to intention and can provide us with a way to gather, despite our differences. Perhaps food can offer a space where we can agree to hear and be heard.
I’m committed to listening and learning—and now, more than ever, I’m eager to explore partnerships and collaboration. Edible Bozeman is seeking to build community through storytelling as we take a thoughtful approach in sharing authentic experiences.
Together, let’s break bread—and maybe share a cherry pie.