Yesterday I was in the locker room at the gym, and I overheard a girl, maybe 22, chatting with her friends about sleep. “I slept so hard last night,” she said blithely, and a bolt of envy shot through me like lightning. Her words transported me to my own youth, when I took sleep for granted. Back then, I thought getting enough sleep was merely a matter of getting in bed and turning out the light. I could fall into bed at any hour and drift into a deep sleep without worries.
You may call me a thief, but I say I’m an urban forager. It all started this weekend, when I was riding my bike through the neighborhood. I stopped at an intersection and happened to spot a tree heavy with bright red cherries. Some branches hung close to the road, so I plucked one off. It was intensely sweet and sour at once. Delicious. The fact that it was free, and seemed to appear like a gift from the heavens, made it even better.
I learned recently from this well-done essay in the New York Times Magazine that there is now something called a “femivore.” Apparently, a femivore is a woman who has decided that, instead of working so she can earn more money to buy her kids more junk from Target, she is going to stay home and grow veggies, raise chickens, can tomatoes and impart her values to her children. In the old days, we called this person a housewife. But now, it is considered a radical decision to quit the rat race and tend to the homestead. This brand of housewife eats local, composts and happily lives with less. And the implication seems to be that her life is somehow more authentic, more virtuous, than the life of a working mother.