A Vegan Tablescape in the Utah Desert

Copy of A Vegan tablescape in the Utah Desert

Food has been at the core of my existence for as long as I can remember. How? Why? I cannot clearly say. The simplest explanation would be that we are each a sum of the experiences life sends our way; food has always been a part of mine, and it molded the person I am.

Even as a child, on road trips with my family (we had plenty of those!) I'd roll down the window to feel the salty wind lash against my face, take in the countryside and breathe in the calm it emanates: sprawling rice fields, endless coastlines, coconut trees as far as the eyes can see, shrimp farms basking in the sun, salt-soaked wooden catamarans shored up for the day, blankets spread on the beach with fish drying atop it, a sea of sunflowers standing tall and stalks of wheat bent low.

Watching these beautiful places move like a slideshow while sitting in a car that sped towards our destination, I always imagined what it'd be like to PAUSE, sit and eat a meal at these places. Places where life existed without appreciation. It was beautiful; simply because it didn't try to be. It just was. Life can be chaotic; an act of moving from point A to point B, repeatedly and with some semblance of purpose. But if you take the time to stop and smell the roses, it can also be a place of magic. For there IS magic in this world, and those who go searching for it, find it. So I did.

That little girl in the car could never have imagined it possible. But now, whenever I'm in a car, looking at magical places in the passing, I imagine a table in the center and stow away the image in my mind, knowing full well, that it was only a matter of time before I made it real.

Here is the photo story detailing my latest adventure in the Utah desert. 3 women and two dogs headed out into the desert for 3 days. We cooked. Created. Connected. Came back rejuvenated, having re-calibrated our internal compasses with nature.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” –Albert Einstein

I hope it inspires you to pause your chaotic life for just a minute, and go looking for that sliver of elemental magic that's waiting for you to find it.

Tina Dawson