Rob Bell introduced me to the idea of communion. In my childhood, growing up Catholic, I thought I knew everything there was to know about communion; the little round wafer that had no flavor, the cup of wine that I wasn’t old enough to drink from, and the fact it happened once a week either Saturday night or Sunday morning. But, as an adult and through my own spiritual journey, I have learned that communion is sharing every single day one’s home, kitchen, table, food, bread, wine, and love. Communion is the act of sharing. Coming together to share a meal is one of the most sacred communions. Whether in the church or at home, whether breaking bread or preparing a meal all is a sacred art.
Just imagine the journey of the strawberry that you are about to cut in front of you. That strawberry was once a tiny seed, covered by dirt that is millennia old, watered by the rains of the earth, and warmed by the sun. That tiny seed began to sprout, grew into a plant, which bloomed the most beautiful tiny flowers that turned into little strawberries, and those strawberries ripened into the most beautiful red color. Then a man or woman walked through that ancient field of dirt and picked that strawberry, which was then cleaned and loaded onto a truck and driven thousands of miles to your grocery store. And for some reason that onecontainer of strawberries stood out among all the other plastic containers of strawberries calling to you to buy it, calling to you to create with it, and calling to you to nourish yourself with it.
Have you ever taken a minute and really thought about your food? Have you ever taken the time to think how it was grown, how it arrived in your home? Have you ever taken a minute to be present when you are cooking? Have you ever given thanks for this nourishment that is provided for you? Have you ever said a prayer or blessing over the meal you are preparing? Cultures around the world wouldn’t dare touch a meal that wasn’t blessed. Some cultures around the world have deep traditions for blessing, preparing, and serving food in communion with others. In other cultures, meals in communion with others are so much more than sitting in front of the TV eating as fast as you can. The communion is shared with others through food, through conversation, and through love. That communion replenishes those around the table in mind, body, and spirit. It is thought when one has a relationship with the food they are cooking the food has a relationship right back. So, once you have planned the schedule, planned the grocery list, and completed your weekly food prep, now you have the time and space to be present. Cooking is my spiritual practice. For many their spiritual practice is, prayer, meditation, fishing, yoga, reading, or knitting. For me it’s cooking, and the knowing that this food I’m preparing is going to sustain my family, nourish my family, and love my family. Be present with your food, take time to let it nourish your mind, body, and soul because you aren’t just living your life, you are thriving.
I invite you to watch this Ted Talk with Cynthia Lair that brings connection and food full circle.