a benefit of eating

We had Bratwurst with bread and mustard
and different kinds of salads
standing at the Bürkliplatz,
where the Limmat flows out of the Zürich lake,
and the streetcars and the buses and the boats converge.
Having just walked the distinguished length of the Bahnhofstrasse,
we ate sitting on a bench
with our feet propped up on our suitcases
watching the people
and waiting for our #165 bus.

And we ordered a Coupe Romanoff,
a strawberry sundae (and coffee!),
at the Hotel Belvoir
overlooking the Zürich sea,
and the Alps rose in the distance into masses of clouds
that looked like another, higher ridge of Alpine glory
reflecting rays of the setting sun
as the moon rose
over the Glarus Alps
reflecting the width of the Zürich Sea.

And we ordered all you can eat cheese fondue
sitting on the banks of the Limmat river
in the shadow of the Gross Münster,
where (for church history nerds)
Ulrich Zwingli preached
and the Reformation was served,
and we thought we might actually finish—
might actually finish both our bowls
of deliciously melted mixed cheeses
with nutmeg and wine and kirsch,
served with baskets of bread cubes
and a bag of small boiled potatoes—
we thought we might finish our bowls
and have room for more of the all you can eat,
but it was all we could eat!

Oh, and we had Sprüngli chocolate truffles, of course,
when we first arrived at the Zürich main train station.
And Bircher Müesli for all our breakfasts
(a yummy combination of oat flakes, nuts, dried fruit,
yoghurt, fresh fruit—honey as needed).
We had actually been having Bircher Müesli
ever since we arrived in Germany,
but I first got to know it in Switzerland
and identify it as a Swiss dish.

And we ate on a terrace
served by a couple who ran—owned(?) the place,
who grew their own herbs
and gave us a tour of the herb garden
when we expressed interest.
And we smelled and examined and identified and tasted,
and they introduced themselves,
and we all shook hands,
and they gave the girls ice cream.

Part of eating, no matter where you are,
is an association with normal, day-to-day routine—
and can help you simply be where you are.

You’re not seeing anything—
not doing anything.
And so, no matter where we have find ourselves,
I have thought,
“Here I am
receiving sustenance—
with these I love,

and it is good.”

We offer grace,
not just for the food we receive,
but for an opportunity
for mindful being.


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