A friend told me that he had gone to a local restaurant for Sunday brunch buffet, and was struck by how “soft” most of the people there seemed. He said that certainly some of them were overweight, but that wasn’t the issue. They just looked like people who always had enough, and now they were having more.

This led to a discussion of Hunger. The experience of sometimes not having enough to eat, of being hungry, can lead to a sharper awareness of Life. I’ve certainly felt this. In the weeks when I cannot afford to go to the grocery store I become creative, designing meals out of whatever I find in the cupboards. You learn to use what you have, to Make Do. I’m not advocating for poverty or starvation. I’m just pointing out how a little hunger can make you live better, appreciate what you have.

It made me think also about spiritual hunger. People who settle into the security of letting an organized religion answer all their questions are not experiencing spiritual hunger. They seem “soft”, sated, out of shape. People who use organized religion as a structure for further exploration, or those who are creating their own spiritual practice, walk the edge of spiritual hunger. That hunger creates appreciation for the wide world and our place in it.

Simple things can be inspiring––a flower by the roadside, children laughing, lightning in the clouds.