The Spice of Life

Well, there’s good news and bad news. Myles came home from college last week for a quick visit. It was the usual: quick load of laundry, get a haircut and eat some food. It was only for one night but it doesn’t even matter. I’ll take quality over quantity everyday. Oh, so for the good news and bad. I’ll start with the bad. The food at school is horrible. That’s disappointing because the boy eats all his meals there and the boy eats a lot of food! The good news,however, is that he has gained a very real appreciation for home cooked food. Not that he didn’t have it before, but there’s nothing like absence to make the heart grow fonder and a little distance to provide some perspective.

Since his visit was unplanned and brief I hadn’t prepared anything special for dinner. As it turns out he had already eaten but was happy to sit with us and enjoy second dinner. While the five of us were sitting there talking, laughing and sharing I realized it really didn’t matter at that moment what we were eating. The act of gathering around the table together for nourishment is not one dimensional. Yes, our food is important. Healthy food is extremely important. But as we come together the community aspect of the dinner ritual is equally as important as what we are putting in our mouths. With our busy days and everyone going in different directions I have come to really appreciate how the family dinner creates a necessary pause and regrouping within our family. Its an exhale at the end of the day. A reminder to say thank you. We have food. We have each other. Some days the food is great and some days it’s not. It’s in the sharing with each other where we are deeply nourished.

As a food column and in particular one that focuses on spices….sometimes the most important spice is the Spice of Life. Wishing you many gatherings around the table with family and friends this spring season.

Written by Melissa Spencer for the Monadnock Ledger Transcript

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