Last Thursday my tiny kitchen was full of the energy, delight & pure joy of a great bunch of women. I invited members of my milk co-op over for an afternoon of cheese-making. What fun!
Some of them had been asking me to do this since last year. We all make an effort to lead more conscious, sustainable and healthy lives, and we all readily share our tips, tricks, and all the latest homesteading info. I’ve been getting to know these ladies over the last 18 months, and I figured now was a good time to share my cheese-making know-how (I’ve had over a year of practice). School’s finally out and so my house has been cleared of the last 5 months of dust, webs, & the accumulated piles of junk (my annual end-of-the-school-year-clean & purge!). I can once again fearlessly welcome people into my home. Hello, Summer!
In reflecting on this day of cheese-making fun I found it to have a much deeper and richer significance. This was peace-building at its most basic level: Relationships (in this link note Joan B. Kroc Institute’s #6, and 8-10, as well as JP Lederach’s definitions of peace-building.)! Everything anyone ever learns about peace-building or how to lead a more mindful, non-violent, and loving life learns that building relationships leads to peaceful solutions that are more sustainable. Number 8 in the Joan B. Kroc Institute’s list (see above link) is what happened in my kitchen the other day. Of course bombs, drones, or terrorists weren’t threatening our lives or the mozzarella, but we were engaged in an activity that connected us all in a very human, non-violent way. And we were certainly communicating!
“8. Peacebuilding creates spaces where people interact in new ways, expanding experience and honing new means of communication.”
I would’ve bet good money that you couldn’t fit six women in my itty-bitty 4×6′ kitchen, yet there we were; huddled around my stove like a Norman Rockwell painting peering into a pot of raw milk which was turning into mozzarella cheese before our very eyes in only 30 minutes! Magic!
I firmly believe that we humans need more of this kind of thing. We need to create opportunities to interact with one another in sharing, caring, community building. This requires that we again step out of our “comfort zone” and invite people into our homes, into our lives, and into a new way of thinking. It isn’t easy, but it is possible; perhaps just one recipe at a time.
Is there something you know how to do that you can share? Think about it & then invite some people over. Trust me… You’ll have a ball & wonder why you didn’t do this sooner!