Moment by Moment Pie

 In my house, on some magical weekend in the fall, Sunday night dinner consists of a piece of warm apple pie and a chunk of cheese. It always happens after an afternoon of apple picking. Such was tonight’s dinner. Because the plate would hold just that small amount of food, I decided to undertake a sustained awareness of eating practice at the moment when I walked into the kitchen to finally dive into our freshly baked delight. Coming in the doorway from our living room, I noticed that the aroma of baking pie had normalized into my nostrils for the past two hours. Retrieving plates and flatware, I heard the clink of their coming together, and the crump of the cupboard closing.
Now, at the stove, I punctured the top of the crust at the center, and heard the crispy crack. There was more shattering crust, and clack of knife on glass pie pan, along with steam and a fresh wave of pie smell. The juicy slice slid onto the lifter, and across to the plate. I noticed that I rushed to cut cheese and put the block back in the refrigerator. Hurry, hurry: there’s pie! I noticed that my stomach suddenly felt empty and ready for food. I felt grateful that I had been busy and had let myself actually get hungry before eating. This is not always the case.

Pie by Margaret

Even with every intention to eat and be aware of eating, and with all the time I would have wanted, that pie was gone too soon. I did enjoy the flavors of pie-spice and the warm, oozy mouth textures. I noticed an almost-too-hot bite, and adjusted to blow a bit before the next forkful. I registered the back-and-forth of sweet pastry and salty dairy fat, and noticed how I naturally alternated between the two, without much thought or intention. I felt food land in my stomach, and a sense soon after of my body responding to nourishment: a little livelier, a little “sugared-up” if you will. I heard the fork scrape the last bits off the plate, and realized I had “missed” the last few forkfuls. What was I doing instead? I can’t tell you. I know I was glad that I was (mostly) “here” to eat that piece of pie I had worked so hard to make from scratch. It was a pleasure to have my husband join me in the practice. We had a lovely meal together.

5 thoughts on “Moment by Moment Pie

  1. It is a triumph of mind over matter to have the pleasure of eating pie take up as much psychic space as the effort it took to make it. But I suppose the secret lies in not seeing them as separate acts to be balanced against each other but as phases of a single more expansive activity. Achieving this grand state of equanimity is easiest if you nibble before baking. 🙂

  2. Equally wonderful is the well known fact is that overnight your evening pie magically turns into “breakfast pie”, or as we greet it in our household, “Good morning, pie!”. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly ground coffee bean, the texture of frothy, milky creamy foam leading to the first bitter sweet swallow and then the first taste (the sharp point of the pie, of course) of “breakfast pie”. UhUmm good!

  3. Of course there’s no “wrong” time of day for freshly baked pie. And I think that if I ever tune in so deliberately well to the making and baking process, I’d be absolutely drunk with anticipation for the eating process!

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