I'm still cooking for Sam.
Because I'm going away for a few days, to attend Snowman's graduation from Land o'Lakes Arts Academy, I have to get things ready for Pure Luck's BFF, who will be cat-and-dog-sitting. Thus far, all the dog breakfasts needed are tucked into storage bags in the fridge, with instructions for additions (yogurt and bananas every morning, dinners to be served "as is"). I'll come home and work on the dinners later.
This means I've been cooking mass quantities of rice, which forms the base of all Sam's meals. As I scooped the rice from the casserole dish I use in the microwave into a cup measure to go next to the food processor to join boiled hamburger, I thought about how many people in the world eat rice every day.
I must admit that after cooking endless cups of rice for Sam over the past five months, I find rice less appetizing. I ate some in a sushi roll the other day, but it's hard to imagine choosing a pile of rice on a plate as part of a meal.
Yet rice is what keeps stomachs filled. Sometimes it is the only thing. This week I'm using up a bag of Uncle Ben's, but for the past almost THREE months I have used two giant bags, 20 pounds each, of Carolina rice, the kind that gets sticky. 20 pounds of rice goes a long way.
It's been a big effort to cook for a 110 pound dog. But when you love someone, and I surely love Sam, the effort feels worth it. The dog who dragged around all last fall, who looked so peaked I wondered if he had a terrible illness, now springs into action and chases squirrels enthusiastically.
We never know what the result will be when we put our love into action. It doesn't always work out the way we hope. Whether it's fundraising for our church or handraising a puppy or simply raising a child, there may be disappointments along the way. There will surely be frustrations. But the act of loving, the employment of the underlying feeling, can't be erased. Like the rice, scooped into dishes around the world at every mealtime, it fills us and nourishes us, as well as the ones we serve.