We often channel the Cat In the Hat at mealtimes.
We walk and eat, talk and eat, drive and eat, text and eat, Facebook and eat, surf the internet and eat, listen to music, read email, talk on the phone and eat.
We juggle, taking on multiple tasks that can be completed relatively well at the same time. We justify this habit as necessary, convincing ourselves that there is just not enough time to simply sit and eat. Decide that we can’t leave our desks for lunch because there is so much work to be done.
Yesterday my work at lunchtime was to fully experience a dish, made with love just for me. This meal was a gift, an offering, a chance for me to be with someone I love and a way for us to connect (he prepared the meal but could not sit and enjoy it with me). Beautiful gesture… I wasn’t about to waste this opportunity.
I made a conscious decision to just eat. I closed my computer, turned the ringer on the phone off and put my notebook aside. I looked at the plate before me. My mind filled with the events of the last few months, how busy we have both been and how we haven’t had much time together.
Broccoli stalks thinly sliced, carrots cut in uniform wedges, deep green kale is a light curry broth. Four dumplings hidden there for me to explore. I exhaled and in rushed the delicious aroma of this moment. Light notes of curry filled me with sudden joy.
I began to eat. It was intoxicating. I felt comforted and at peace. Flavors perfectly balanced, veggies done just right… every spoonful I brought to my lips reminded me of all the simple things this man does for me, sweet unexpected offerings of love.
Moments like this enable us to connect, but we miss them it we don’t stop, pay attention and fully experience each one.
Put aside all other activities. Just eat.
Before you begin, take a moment to feel gratitude for the meal and to the chef (especially if it was you).
Eat slowly, experience the flavors and textures of each bite.
Love often shows itself in the simplest things. Take the time to accept the gifts, one bite at a time.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Jennifer Moore