PHOTOGRAPHED AND WRITTEN BY ANGELA DE LA AGUA
“Last month my husband and I explored Joshua Tree. It was my first visit but felt like home the moment I arrived. Having spent much of my childhood in the High Desert of Oregon, the desert landscape was familiar and haunting. Miles and miles of nothing, roads that don’t register on Google Maps and inspiring and adventurous souls made our days there magical. We were introduced to Angela the High Priestess of Desert Juice by a good friend who lives in Joshua Tree. Each morning we woke to exquisite, high vibe juices and raw treats delivered down our sandy road by this beaming and radiant soul. Angela is living an extraordinary life committed to sharing the power of plants with all those who cross her path. I can’t wait to return to Joshua Tree and enjoy her beautiful food again.” –Kerrilynn Pamer
Behind the doors of my refrigerator and kitchen cupboards reveal altars of sacred foods that nourish myself and those I feed. I live my life in ceremony, and it is with mindful intention that food is placed upon shelves, then moved to a counter assemblage of ingredients for a recipe, finally into the presentation of the complete creation on the table. As I move through the rituals of food, loving arrangements are continuously made, and I frequently find myself pausing to simply gaze upon the beauty before me. Food is a gift, it is a joy. I choose to celebrate this everyday.
I am drawn to foods that are high-vibrational. Truly, I see only these foods when I am at the farmer’s market or local health foods store in town. For me, the foods that call to be with me are the happiest in-season organic fresh fruits and vegetables. There is also a forever flow of ceremonial cacao beans, local medjool dates, bitter green juices, nourishing nettle leaf infusions, organic young thai coconuts, sprouted sunflower seeds*, and fresh ginger tea. I love to seek out local raw honey and raw chocolates when I travel, and slip into memories of the places I have been as I consider which honey to use for the day, or which special chocolate might be enjoyed. The greatest gifts are foods grown from a friend’s garden and shared with me. I treasure all of these sacred foods, for it is more than simply vital nutrients that they bless me with. These foods connect me to Spirit.
Everything I choose to eat holds a strong energy, and it is with this awareness and connection that I create love-filled juices, raw desserts, and nourishing meals for myself and others to enjoy. Every moment with food is an opportunity to bless ourselves with divine gifts that come from the earth, which connect us with the source. I choose to eat healing foods that bless me with powerful life-force, medicine, and wisdom. I have come a long way in my lifelong journey with food, and it is gratitude and joy that continuously compels me to share what I learn and create with others. One of the most profound awakenings I’ve experienced is that food tastes more alive and gives more nourishment when it is shared with others. I honor my body by nourishing myself with the happiest foods from the earth, and I honor the earth by always offering food back to the land before I enjoy it myself.
Living so closely with nature deep in the Joshua Tree desert, I have cultivated an intimate connection with Spirit through plants, fasting, eating, and creating. From the moment I wake, I enter the flow of rituals that carry me from the dawn into sunrise, all day long until after the sun has set. There are altars around the land I live on where I pour offerings of juice or cacao every single day. In my homestead cabin, I have altars dedicated to cacao, juice-making, and herbal infusions. Food preparations throughout the day, from making juice, to smoothie bowls, to grounding soups, are deeply focused meditations. My finished creations are always placed upon a Shipibo altar cloth on the table, for the ceremony of eating is the culmination of all the rituals that lead to the moment of enjoyment, of conscious connection with Spirit. A lit candle always accompanies my meals. I sit, and take a deep breath to absorb the aromas, the colors, the silence. My view is the great expansive desert. There is no rush, there is only an abundance of space, beauty, and peace. Each moment with food begins with words of gratitude sealed with a kiss. Each meal is always the best I’ve ever had.
Kiss the food you eat today, and notice how it elevates your experience. Smile as you eat, holding the awareness that there is much to be grateful for. Quiet your mind and bring your focus to the food, let all other distractions fall away. All that matters is the spirit of the present moment. Listen as you eat, for the food might have messages for you. Let Spirit speak to you in this moment. Let this moment with food be the best you’ve ever had.
Blessings upon your sacred meal from Joshua Tree.
* My dear friend and neighbor makes and sells the sprouted and roasted organic sunflower seeds with sel gris salt that are one of my favorite foods on this planet. Contact Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org for orders.