Commentary by Claudia Pierson
I am visiting my mom and as always, we have had the best conversations and laughter. My mom, who is 90, has been the inspiration for many things in my life, one of which is my love of cooking and nurturing others with that passion. We had an interesting discussion last week about the changes in the way people share and engage in meals.
Each meal that is shared in my mom’s home, whether it is breakfast, dinner, a holiday or celebration is a meal that is not only prepared with love but also presented with love. The presentation is a huge part of the meal and it seems we have lost some of that along the way. As we talked, we agreed that a good indicator of the evolution of the sharing of meals is bridal registries. Brides no longer seem to register for traditional place settings, serving pieces and tableware. Never mind the “good china” as we used to refer to it. While our lives are truly no busier than they used to be and with all the gadgets and appliances we have to lessen the load, we continue to move further away from making the time to embrace the times of day when we take care of the one most important factor in our lives – ourselves!
OK, I know that every meal does not have to be a candlelit dinner with the fine bone china. However, how nice to take the time to care for yourself and your family by creating a nice meal and also presenting it with that same care. Photos are not hung on our walls without frames. We don’t give a gift without the wrapping paper and ribbon. How nice to sit down to a meal, as opposed to running out the door or standing, and having a table set to enjoy that time for yourself or with others. If each night is not possible, make a commitment to add it to your daily schedule one week at a time. You may find it becomes a part of your day that you can’t live without.
Each time I sit at the table with my mom I am reminded how important that ritual has been in my own life. How many stories have been told, feelings discussed and dreams shared during a meal at her table. I would have missed all of those and missed life in the making.