Then eating the food you grow is the moment of truth.
And these pumpkins?
They are a miracle of nature. I did not plant one single pumpkin seed this year, yet we've harvested more than twenty pumpkins. These pumpkins feel like a plague when I've been standing in the kitchen for hours, cutting, baking, scooping, pureeing, and freezing pumpkin meat, but the bags of pumpkin piling up in my freezer look a lot like a blessing. These pumpkins are a manifestation of the garden of my dreams: a chaotic, overgrown, rambling jungle full of volunteer plants from seasons past.
Avery and I have been studying civilizations from thousands of seasons past. We sit at the dining room table as I read aloud about Mesopotamia while she colors a map of the Fertile Crescent. We discuss how the intentional sowing of seeds changed the world, how the discovery of agriculture led to the building of cities, language, temples, religions. Or did it?
While sitting in the dentist's office last week, I happened upon an article in National Geographic about Gobekli Tepe, an ancient temple in Turkey, a place of worship predating the archaeological findings of the earliest agricultural civilizations. The discovery has caused a shift in the theory that agriculture came before religion. Perhaps it's the other way around. Did nomads congregate in one place and develop a shared language in order to build a temple to worship their gods, and then stay in the area and cultivate the land?
I wonder though, does it matter which came first? The chicken or the egg, the farm or the temple? Do not food and worship go hand in hand? We won't find these answers in history textbooks or old copies of National Geographic, but I believe our daily pilgrimage to the garden, the market, the kitchen, and the dinner table will bring us closer to a truth we can taste. As knowledge fills our head and belief fills our heart, so does food fill our belly. At least that's what my gut tells me.