Thursday, November 17, 2011

Breaking Bread

One of the simple joys of my life is going home at the end of the work day, preparing a simple meal, sitting with my wife, eating dinner, and watching the evening news on television. In 37+ years of marriage I estimate that my wife and I have shared approximately 13,500 evening meals in our life together. This doesn’t count all the workday mornings where we each sit in our chairs with our coffee and toast. During these meals together we talk about our family, children, friends, work, world events, and many other things. Sharing a meal together is really not about the food. I know this is true because when our children were still young and living with us we had entire meals that were cooked in a Fry Daddy. Trust me, those meals weren't worth talking about. Whether a meal is shared with family or close friends, it's not usually about the food. It's about being present to one another.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. I’ll be honest. I’m really not all that crazy about turkey and dressing. I do, however, like the fact that there is a traditional meal associated with this holiday. More importantly for me is the idea behind the holiday. Two important values in my life are gratefulness and being thankful. My life is not perfect but I have been very blessed in my life. Some of this is on a material level. Although I am not rich, I am a long way from poor. The greatest riches in my life, however, have nothing to do with wealth or possessions. I am blessed by having people in my life who love me and care about me. These people are not limited to family. My personal family and my extended family are all great even though they can sometimes make me crazy. In addition to family, though, I am also blessed with good friends, some of whom have been part of my life for most of my life. Everyday life is often a challenge and I occasionally get down in the dumps over all the stupid or mundane activities I must perform. Every day is not a walk in the park. However, I still feel blessed and besides the obvious blessings, I have also been given a sense of wonder, an appreciation for beauty, an awareness of the transcendent, and the ability to enjoy the simple things in life. I am grateful and thankful for my family, my friends, the kind of person I have turned out to be, and for all the other small and simple joys of life.

No comments: