“Love people. Cook them tasty food.”
– Bumper Sticker
When I was growing up, my dad always insisted we have dinner as a family. Even when I was older and still living at home, I made a point of coming home for dinner no matter what I was doing.
When I moved across the continent to California, I didn’t think it was a big deal; I’d lived away from home before, so this wasn’t my first rodeo. It was the first time I’d ever lived completely alone though.
My dad had come to California with me to get me settled in, so for the first three weeks, I wasn’t alone. I remember the day I dropped him off at the airport after those three weeks and returned to my empty apartment. It wasn’t so bad. And then I had dinner. Alone. For the first time in my life.
I understood just how valuable my family dinners really were.
They were about so much more than food. They built a foundation for my younger-self to express ideas, interact with people on different levels, become comfortable in my own skin, and maybe most importantly, a place to belong; a place to feel safe and loved.
The idea of sharing a meal with others is as ancient as life itself. Maybe because the concept is so innate in all of us, hearing about people breaking bread with strangers moves the spirit and evokes feelings of joy, belonging and unity in all of us.
Quote Of The Day: Inspiring Words by Louise Fresco
I came across one such story in the NY Times today, about a couple who have opened their home and their hearts to kids who could use a little warmth, direction, and a belly full of love.
Every Thursday night, Kathy Fletcher and David Simpson host a family meal for dozens of kids. What started out as parents having their son’s friend over for an occasional dinner and sleepover has become a weekly inspirational gathering where a couple of dozen kids not only get a home-cooked meal and a place to crash, but they are given an opportunity to come into their own fullness.
Their Thursday night dinner has become a place where these kids are encouraged to pursue their passions and recognize their greatness; a safe place for them to build self-confidence, and a path to help them shine. You can read the full heart-warming story here.
Synchronicity Snippet: I happened to look at my FB profile today – I listed today’s feature quote as a favorite about six years ago.
A friend sent me a story a couple of days ago that he thought I would enjoy. I’ve been meaning to read it, but didn’t get to it until today. Not knowing what it was about, I read the article right after the one above, only to find out that it too, was about a family sharing their bounty with those less fortunate. This story is about a young boy who saw someone in need, and decided to help out. Once his mom found out what he was up to, she got in on the action too. Take a look:
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
– Ruth Reichl
We are often given the opportunity to make a difference in our own lives by helping others, even by simply sharing a meal. Embrace the opportunity every chance you get – there is majesty in this simple yet powerful act. Trust me, my dad knew what he was doing – those family meals are not only about food for the belly, they nourish the soul.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!