contemplation at the grocery store

Meditation class student — A.R.

My contemplation is on the act of buying fruit at the grocery store.

The grocery store is one of the few places I have been going since the pandemic started. I like to get fruit every week, in our family we enjoy apples and bananas. I am grateful that our food supply is plentiful even this time of the pandemic. In particular, I appreciate the sweetness of the apple.

When I cut into the apple I think of the massive societal effort that went into creating our farm system so we could sustain ourselves with food. For example, somebody had to plant an apple tree. Then people had to pick the apples. Then the apples had to be loaded onto a large truck, and probably needed to be sorted at a large processing center, again with lots of people. Then the apples need to be driven to one more intermediate storage facilities, until they finally reach the grocery store. Then, at the grocery store, a worker needs to arrange all of the food so shoppers can pick it up.  Each step of the way requires people to move the food.

Upon further contemplation, I realize that there are far more interdependencies. I realize the structure that contains the grocery store only came into existence after people built it, it was probably a grass field before that. I also realize that the car I used to go to the store needed to be invented, mass-produced, and sold to people. And that the roads needed to be built. Otherwise, I would need to walk through unpaved paths to get my food.

Contemplation of each effort seems to open up other interdependencies that were not obvious before. After the analysis, I feel that I occupy a smaller place in the world, because I am aware of more things that are connected to my daily activities. I also feel an increased sense of gratitude for small things like fruit.