When I automatically set the table for dinner, it never occurs to me that I have to prepare not only the “plate” upon which the food is placed but that I am actually creating the environment in which eating together makes memories.
Which is to say that how and what we imagine for “table time” is huge! I will be the first to admit that going through the drive-thru for a meal is convenient and often the only choice (if we are one of those fortunate enough to have funds to do so). However, there is a lot to be said for meatloaf and mashed potatoes and veggies, plus flowers on the table with a blessing or “grace” before the meal. It rewards us with an entre(e?) into conversation and memory-making that simply is not fostered with quick hamburgers and french fries. ( Does fast talk come with fast food? I wonder…)
I think that we need to create an environment for food and soul-sustaining communication to hold us together. Soft surroundings, food, and friends or family…glue for the fabric of a starving society. A place where we can give and receive nurture so that we are enabled to nurture others. A heartwarming safe place with no table technology involved. And a place where generations can pass on important stories and traditions that seem to get lost in the shuffle of everyday life.
We all need special memories so that we can return to them if and when our hearts are empty so that we can be refueled with conversation which sustains our minds and spirits. So feel free to set the table and enjoy those who you love. It is high time that we proclaim not only the recipes for a meal, but recipes for a happy heart!