Enjoyable conversation and company, I believe, is just as nourishing as a wholesome meal, in many cases. The presence of others who nurture us in the spirit of love feeds the body and the soul. When accompanied by real food – fare and friends go hand in hand to create the experience of a nourishing meal.
We must also be comfortable, though, in creating that loving environment and welcoming acceptance when we dine alone. So often we seek to distract ourselves at meal time – or shall I say, “foodtime,” which may not even be distinguished as a specific time for sustenance at all. We drive through life or multitask at our desks – with television, radio, newspapers and magazines, the iPhone, iPad, etc. We distract ourselves from the task at hand – feeding our bodies and our souls with the food we put before us. It’s not just about the food. It is just as much about the experience.
In doing so, we are robbing ourselves of so many essentials. We are depriving ourselves of THE ESSENTIAL – the simple – the food itself.
Nourishment is a sensory experience. There is visual participation- examining the brilliant colors and textures of the beautiful food, so lovingly prepared before us. We smell the delightful fragrances, aromas, and sometimes intoxicating herb and spice combinations wafting from the meal. Sometimes we can hear the food “sing” to us. The snap, crackle, and pop of frying onions and garlic on the stove certainly excites and entices the senses, the sweet cry of the lemons squeezed atop a colorful bouquet of salad dressed in buttery oil meant to fall off the lips, and even the crack and crunch of fresh cut produce lining the plate so divine.
Such simplicity yields so much complexity and depth to our lives, if only we allow for it and take note. Once we begin to devour, even more ensues. The movement of our teeth through the flavors, chewing each and every bite and noticing how textures change and flavors morph throughout the entire process. In a way, a meal becomes a work of art from start to finish. A work of art requiring participation and yielding oh so much pleasure.
Therefore we must, for the sake of nourishment and for the vitality of Life, “Sit down, shut up, and eat!”