Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dining Together ~ The Missing Link

It's been a dying tradition ~ dining together.

How many people use a dining room? Countertops and bar stools have become the hallmark of convenience ~ or fitting in meals on a busy ~ or not so busy ~ schedule.

And yet, I've believe that the whole chemistry of digestion changes depending on the setting ~ or the atmosphere ~ of where you eat. Makes sense. The nurturing gained from a home-cooked meal is only partly credited to the food that is served. Eating in your own home, or as a guest at someone else's, can be a healthier experience in and of itself. We all know that.

Sitting down together opens the door for human connection ~ and it's as basic a human need as food.

That's why we can confuse hunger for food with hunger for conversation, friendship, intimacy and love. That's why we eat even if we're not physically hungry ~ because some of those very important, soul nurturing pieces are missing.

It's not as if we're trying to fill an empty pit ~ the emptiness we feel is real, and so is the hunger. The key is to distinguish whether what we're feeling is emotional or physical.

The phrase "starved for attention" can be literally that. And if that's lacking, we'll attempt to fill th void with food. We know we need something when we head to the refrigerator ~ it just may not be the correct remedy.

And so sitting down to a meal with people you care about, and who care about you, feeds both body and soul.

That's how I would interpret that well-known biblical reference: "Man does not live by bread alone."

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