Saturday, June 02, 2007

Magic in a meal

The older I get, the more I have come to realize that the essence of this life is in the connections we make with other people.

I mean, you don't have to go out and cure cancer or solve world poverty to give your life worth.
All you have to do is touch one person.
Just one.
And more than likely, you've already done that.

But the joy I find in day-to-day living is often tied to small gestures--
sharing cups of tea with a good friend, for example.
There's something about hot drinks and good conversation that is just all emotionally warm and fuzzy.

Or there's joy in what I want to call breaking bread (though that is actually a religious term).
I mean there's magic in dining together.

I met a new client the other night. Let me preface this by saying I don't advertise--I don't need to.
I work word-of-mouth, get booked over a year in advance, and taking on new clients that are referred by people I know cuts down on the 'creep factor'

Anyway, I figured this meeting was going to be a quick, "here's the dog food, here's the house key, oh--and nice to meet you".
It must be so odd to turn over ones home to, for all intents and purposes, a complete stranger for several weeks. But I digress.

Well, it turned into three hours of a lovely evening.

They invited me to dine with them--literally just welcomed me into the home.
The client's mother was visiting from Portugal--a little grandmother, her identity all tied up into family and food.
And the meal was AMAZING.

The grandma made a steamed chicken, infused with garlic, set atop a bed of carrots, asparagus, and broccoli.
The flavor was surreal.

Then the plates were cleared, and out came little ramekins of fresh fruit.
The lady who hired me said her mom cut fruit for two hours that afternoon.
After that, flan.
"Bom", the grandma was saying (meaning 'good').

Then, tea.
But not just any tea.
Tea that had been plants the grandma brought over from Portugal.
A homegrown and homemade tea, with raw sugar, hot in glass mugs, to aid digestion.

I can't fully explain the wonderfulness of it.
All I know is that is what life is all about--that sharing, that welcoming, that warmth.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Sue B said...

Sounds like a lovely experience. There are few things that bring people closer than sharing a meal together. I suspect the world would be a little bit nicer of a place if more people would spend some time sitting at the kitchen table together.

12:41 AM  
Blogger telfair said...

This is such a gorgeous post, it made me spontaneously smile for a good half-hour!

7:42 AM  
Blogger The Calico Cat said...

I mean, you don't have to go out and cure cancer or solve world poverty to give your life worth.
All you have to do is touch one person.
Just one.
And more than likely, you've already done that.

I shared that with a friend who is convinced that she does not do enough - she is sooooo wrong!

7:55 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

That sounds like such a great evening! Funny to think that years ago that was a normal meal and today it is a rarity and something to be cherished. And how lucky they are to have you watching their pets.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Felicia said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time :)

7:03 AM  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Another thoughtful post, Barb. You really do have a way with words. You are so right about connecting well with people as we get older. If only we could 'put old heads on young shoulders' as the saying goes.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Aubrey said...

That is indeed what life is about - the connections, the sharing.

Of course, life is also about finding $20 in your jacket pocket that you didn't expect to find there, but that's for another discussion.

12:54 AM  

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