We live in a world that gives applause to those that can run further and faster than anyone else. To those who can achieve, succeed and attain significance.
Days seem to get shorter and more chaotic as we try to fit more and more in.
I watch young mums fit far more in with their littles then I ever had to with mine. Time spent in cars racing from one activity to the next. Where day time play and slow hours clocked around the home seem distant memories of another time and another era.
By the time we get to the end of the day, we simply want dinner fast so that the inertia, the escape from our busy and our hurried can happen.
We open the pantry cupboard and we look for food that will be fast. That won’t steal one more moment of time from the pleasure that inertia gives.
We plate the food and honour our need for inertia, so we give our kids the space to eat retreated from real life, retreated from each other, their only company over dinner time being computer screens and digital boxes. We sit, sighing, glad that another day has ended. Another day has been survived, inertia come at me.
I live on one of the world’s most beautiful island’s.
One day a weather beaten farmer explained to me how the day begins with sun set and not sun down.
That the night time is actually the beginning of the new day and that our day was to begin with giving thanks.
That this night time ritual of giving thanks at the table gave rest to our soul.
He said, “The night time ritual begins with gathering the ingredients from the day’s labor. We need to see, to taste and to touch lovingly the labor of the day. We do this through the gathering of real food for the evening meal.”
Tasmania has produce in abundance.
Beautiful thick creamy butters, creams and cheeses.
We collect beautiful, plump seasonal fruit and vegetables.
The land delivers its meat…rich, tender, and tasty.
The family comes to the table, rough hands finding and locking with each other.
Eyes close and in the still night air a voice give’s thanks for the meal, for the day that has been.
It’s a simple ritual.
A humble beginning.
A way to close off one day and to begin another.
In giving thanks each person’s contribution to the day is seen.
The soul is humbled by our interdependence. Our need for one another.
We see that as we give thanks.
That so much of what we have exceeds our own imagination and comprehension.
That we have had a little help from up above.
That we are the beneficiaries of the kindnesses and grace of both God and others.
It’s a simple little ritual but it changes everything.
The tables shares its produce.
Hungry mouths devour its contents.
Time passes, stories begin to unfold.
Laughter and giggle erupt.
Real food, slow food enfolded in thanksgiving.
Life seems to have stopped as love weaves its way amongst the table.
It’s hard to believe that this is how our day is meant to start.
That this is not the ending but the beginning.
I practice this discipline and discover that to begin with thanksgiving, love and connection is far more restful to my soul than inertia.
I am grateful to my ruddy farmer friend who whispered an ancient truth that brings life to my soul.