Every day around three or four, I get hungry. When I tap into my core, it’s not so much that I’m ravenous; rather it feels like there is a need I’m trying to fill, and food is most convenient.
Perhaps you share my sentiments.
If I harken back to childhood where too many things tend to crystallize into patterns we later become oblivious to, that time of day points to when I’d return home from school peckish, ready to zero in on homework. My mom wasn’t so much the motherly type. I was never presented with a freshly baked snack, for example, nor much of anything homemade or substantial at all that could be construed as brain food. I usually opened up the refrigerator and downed all the milk I could, straight from its gallon jug. City water was horrible, and though my parents could afford the bottled kind, my father was adamant that, if he found it drinkable, all nine of us should. Thus it was that I grew up without much fresh water at all, and ignored a lactose intolerance that would plague me into later life. Maybe I’d add a slice of Wonder bread smeared with Peter Pan and Smucker’s jelly, maybe some American cheese. I remember spooning peanut butter straight from the jar; eating dry sugared cereal from the box.
Later while studying Jungian Psychology in college, Marion Woodman’s work entranced me. A former anorexic, she spent an entire career focusing on the connection between women and bodies and food and mothering. In shorthand: food=matter=Mater=Mother Earth=food. I found it compelling, coming from a family rife with eating disorders. It opened some doors, leaving others to be discovered – still firmly sealed – later on in life.
Like Alice of the famed Wonderland, I feel as though I’ve been holding the key to that tiny door forever, pacing back and forth while deciding if I want to be larger or smaller; usually smaller, but then again, I appreciate the merits of size, in the converse logic that comprehends the bigger I am, the less likely I am to be noticed. And I’ve never sought the spotlight. Thus there is a peculiar protection embedded in portly. I’m a female in Western culture, after all.
Meanwhile I continue learning from this blessed body, and am determined to get to the bottom of this late afternoon craving for something indefinably satisfying. Perhaps I need more nurturing, or it might be something deeper. I arrived into this life with my family of origin for a reason. My parents were the best teachers for me at that time. Call it karma – I do – and it’s easy to understand that the baggage I carried into this life contains valuable material for waking up as fully as I am able.
And I sure as heck am willing.