For a few months now, every Monday night I have been getting together with a couple of girlfriends to have dinner. We meet at one of our houses and everybody brings something to share. It is a wonderful way to cut down on how much cooking one person has to do, you get a fabulous meal, and share great company. Before the meal this week I read an excerpt from A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles with Bookmark” by M. J. Ryan. This is not something I normally do with others and my friends were so moved at the reading that we stopped and talked about the idea expressed before beginning to eat. This book has brought back the beauty of stopping to give thanks before eating (something we always did when I was a child) and to reflect on what has heart and meaning. I encourage you to notice what happens if you pause before eating, even when you’re alone, and remember how much there is to be grateful for. The slowing down will help your metabolism kick in even before you eat. I call it the “metabolism of gratitude.”
By the way, an omelette, green salad, and potato salad make a superb summer dinner. The omelette had shitake mushrooms, goat cheese, zuchinni, swiss chard, garlic, and onion. The green salad had tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin seeds, and avacodo. My friend brought the potato salad so I don’t know all of the ingredients. However, everything was from a local garden or business and tasted like heaven.
An excerpt from A Grateful Heart:
“How easily we can forget how precious life is! So long as we can remember, we’ve just been here, being alive. Unlike other things for which we have a good comparison–black to white, day to night, good to bad–we are so immersed in life that we can see it only in the context of itself. We don’t see life as compared to anything, to not-being, for example, to never having been born. Life just is.
But life itself is a gift. It’s a compliment just being born: to feel, breathe, think, play, dance, sing, work, make love, for this particular lifetime.
Today, let’s give thanks for life. For life itself. For simply being born!”
-Daphne Rose Kingma