Today for some reason I am thinking of the beauty and blessing of the Dinner Table. Maybe it’s because several days lately I ate a cold salad by myself in my vehicle in between running errands and arriving at work. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind eating alone. In fact, being alone, and even eating alone, is something I enjoy. But the older I get, the more I value coming together with family, community, friends, at the table.
The Table is a gathering place. A place to connect, feel accepted, be nourished.
The nourishing of a good table goes beyond delicious food, and extends to the nourishments of soul and spirit along with food. And it is priceless.
So what can we do to create a good Gathering Place…..a place where family and friends feel loved, accepted, nourished? There seem to be a variety of factors that contribute to a truly nourishing gathering around the dinner table, a place where hearts are blessed, bodies refreshed, and spirits rested. A few things I’ve observed as I’ve been blessed to be part of hundreds of excellent, joyous meal times all around the US, Canada, and Mexico:
The atmosphere is warm. There is acceptance + love. It is a place to relax, to be yourself, to feel “at home”.
The food can be simple or lavish, served on paper or china, but it is thoughtful, and served with love.
Enriching words, healing laughter, and (sometimes heated:) discussion flows. It’s not always all peace and calm, at least not at my family’s table. But it is sharing. It is community.
And now I would love to hear from you! What special touches do you enjoy adding to the Table? In your mind, what makes a mealtime special and refreshing?