Food is a big deal in my family and in our community. Meals, especially dinner, are when everyone gets together. They are loud and they last a long time. No one seems to be in a hurry to get them over with.
Dinner prep is usually fairly chaotic with everyone in and out of the kitchen and the kitchen overflows with smells. We cook spicy and ethnic food a lot so curry and chili are regular smells in our kitchen.
Dinner is a community communion of sorts. You can feel the joy of eating when our clan gets together. We make food that is nourishing, made of as many whole foods — and organic when we can afford it — as we are able and food that is full of flavor. Our policy is that everyone should leave the table full in every way, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Since shortly after my son was born he sensed that dinnertime was special. That there was something special about sitting down together and that it made eating something more than just nourishing our bodies but that it is something that nourishes relationship, something that nourishes the soul.
By the time he was a few months old he demanded to “sit” at the table with everyone. Usually on my husband’s or my lap. He wanted to be a part of what was going on.
As my son started to eat food I watched him enjoy food. My son loves both curry and chili. Granted he is now a very normal toddler and I have to come up with creative ways to introduce healthy food in to his diet but I am satisfied knowing that the meals we put on the table are full of nourishing food but it’s more than just the food he is putting it to his belly. My son sits at the end of our large dinner table and he engages in the conversation and laughter that happens. I am happy to see my son be nourished in every way around the community communion table.
Jasmine is a co-housing community living mama with a passion for fierce writing.
Photos used from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/forever5yearsold/2808759067/