It comes to something when a a glass of water or a cup of no-caffeine, no-milk redbush tea is a temptation. Most days I drink endless cups of it and various other fruit and herb teas without thinking – though I am often truly grateful for its warmth in my chilly office. It gives a certain amount of perspective for the rest of the fast – sooner or later, one of these days I’m going to be wishing my plain vegetable soup, or whatever, could have a little grated cheese on top. My Inner Stern Aunt will then remind me in no uncertain terms not to think like a spoiled child – that only a few days ago I had no soup, and appreciated even a cup of plain tea as a treat.
I don’t know how non-monastics can possibly manage three days of fasting, but I am encouraged to eat and drink only what is necessary – in order to carry on working, not to feel satisfied – and to be more appreciative, and indeed wary, of the (over)abundance normally available. And to be mindful of the many, many people to whom adequacy, let alone abundance, is not available.
Today’s fast was made easy for me in practical terms – I was able to take a long series of photographs of manuscripts requested by several people, and spend the rest of the day processing the photos and putting them online. Only one file naming mixup, and I can’t blame that on fasting as I often make that kind of typo!