I am sitting in an airplane right now and I just finished watching Eat, Pray, Love…while eating airplane food. It is kind of a funny combination. During Eat, Pray, Love I got soaked up in Julia Roberts eating fresh pasta with perfect tomatoes and all of this from the kitchen of a beautiful, old Italian home. It looked wonderful. Food for celebration, food for health, food for the sake of food, but most important of all was that it was real food. It struck me as so beautiful and incredibly wholesome. Not wholesome in the well-rounded hometown-backyard-America way, but wholesome in the way that plants get planted, picked and cut and this is what ends up adorning a plate, seasoning a dish and nourishing our bodies. And for that matter, nourishing our souls. Good food puts in me a place where my heart is happy. I want to do a better job of eating good food, wholesome food, and make my heart happy while feeding my soul.

So what am I doing? I am eating airplane food. Want to know my secret? I LOVE airplane food. I am not really sure why, but my best guess is that  when I am stuck in a little seat for a long period of time a hot plate of chicken or pasta with a little cookie and my choice of beverage goes a long way. Even though I am tens of thousands of miles away from the land on which or under which, it may have grown. I do not know whether it contains genetically modified ingredients or if it is at all organic. It certainly did not come from my yard and its “wholesome level” is quite a bit lower than that of the Italian pasta in Eat, Pray, Love. However, I cannot help but acknowledge that it makes me happy as well.

Food is a wonderful thing. It is necessary for life and growth. It is beautiful and smells lovely (most of the time!). Food beckons family gatherings and marks special occasions. It evokes emotions, opinions, passions and happiness. Today, Italian food looks amazing – fresh pasta, yum! My airplane food, however, is surprisingly satisfying (except the amount of packaging surrounding each of the dishes is mildly disconcerting.) Food is so many things to me. What is food to you?

Lana Lile, Saturday @ 38,000 feet