Words to Love by: Center of the Table

Written by Jordan Drake January 30, 2022

“At the center of every table, regardless of what’s on the plates, love must be served.”

Food is a basic building block of life: an obvious enough statement. We need it to sustain our bodies. For as long as humanity has been eating, we’ve been gathering together to share our meals. Food has always been a communal experience, a way for us to connect with each other on the most basic level. People worked together to raise or trade their food as a community, gathered to cook and eat, then they talked and laughed around a flame and a warm meal.

Knowledge and traditions were passed around and the world grew larger, and we kept gathering to eat. We’ve based holidays and festivals around feasting together. Artists made their mark in history painting masterpieces of famous dinners and meetings at quiet cafes. Stopping to share a meal offers a human connection worthy of capturing in museums, but we rarely stop to savor the moment the way we should anymore.

Today, we are privileged to have food nearly “on demand”. We can make it as simple and mindless as we need it to be. We can push a couple of buttons and have world cuisine delivered to us within the hour. We rush to make dinner in 30 minutes or less, because we live full, busy lives. And sometimes, a meal is just another box to check on the to-do list.

It's easy to allow the convenience of food on demand and hurrying through dinner to get to bedtime, to rush us right past those moments of connection. We get into a routine and before we know it, the grind of life can pass us by without a second thought - at the loss of precious opportunities. If we don’t take the time we once did to sit around the table and actually talk to each other and enjoy a family dinner or invite people over just to catch up over coffee, we lose a taste of one of the most time-honored forms of human connection. The one that once got us through dark times around a fire on a cold night, or greeted visitors meant to be celebrated.

We need to remember that the dinner table holds a special place in the heart of humanity. Societies were built around tables. And it doesn’t matter if we’re putting takeout on the table before we help our kids with homework or working over a hot stove all day to make a family classic.

We have to put more than just food on the table. We have to serve love.

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