Last Sunday, I listened to Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s Splendid Table show and heard things I’d never heard before. Maybe it had always been there or maybe it was new, but the subtitle caught my ear: the show about life’s appetites.

To crave, to have room for, to create space to fill with flavorful bites. Appetite has the typical food connotation but of course we encounter many different appetites through the course of a day, a week, a life and this moniker expands the show beyond a mere food conversation.

Life’s appetites. A desire for quiet in the early morning and the opportunity to relish an early sunrise. The way a new day arrives without announcement or question, the light filtering through the bamboo shades, a gentle nudge awake like a loving finger stroke of someone beside you.

A craving for foods sweet, salty and with exquisite crunch or something not tasted in too long. A desire to be out on the open water without care or concern, no deadline to meet, nowhere to be, no one to worry about as the sun works its way in an arc overhead until it can rest as you do.

The exhilaration of a solo hike in mountains you’ve never known and the sound of a waterfall beyond the thicket of branches that you can’t see but know is beckoning. The anticipation of someone you have yet to meet. A remembered touch. A desire yet unmet.

Life’s appetites. There are so many in this complex web of streets, arteries through our days, clear-cutting across open field and obscured views. We judge ourselves too harshly.

In the quiet of a soft couch, in an evening padded with cool breezes, there was a horse bucking its feet against the dirt, kicking it up in waves and clouds. The horse represented freedom, a desire, a need, to run free from the chains of a previous week or an expectation.

There were jungle images, cowboys stuttering around a blackened campfire, men clawing at the fence and begging for entry. There were lions and donkeys and then, another horse, this one unbridled, bucking off any rider who attempted to mount.

It’s about the wilds, the teacher’s careful voice interpreted. You are seeking your freedom. Do not judge the emotions; it’s all perfect. You are where you need to be.

Life’s appetites. That’s what it’s all about.

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