Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Anne Lammott posted on Facebook today that she grew up in a family that didn’t say grace before meals, but that she always wished they did. I felt, and feel, the same way.

I always (almost always) say a silent “thank you” before meals. When I say this “thank you” I am thinking of the people who grew my food and of the soil, sun and rain that allowed it to become full of nutrients and minerals and all-of-the-miraculous-things this planet gives us, which allow us to survive here. If I’m eating animals (which I didn’t used to do, but am doing now, as my deficient constitution requires it), I am thinking of the animals and hoping that my spirit is communicating with their spirit and that they know that I am deeply, deeply grateful for their gifts that nourish, sustain and heal me and my family. I’m also, of course, speaking to the God-of-my-own-understanding - the all-loving presence I have sensed by my side all my life.

This silent “thank you” has been enough for me, for years. But since F was born, I’ve been feeling the need to unsilence myself, to speak the thanks out loud, to teach my son, by example, that to be grateful for the food on his plate is to grateful for life-on-Earth itself.

It might seem foolish to be thinking of this during these times of great pain and division and uncertainty about the future. But I believe that peace begins at home. I believe that war begins at home. I believe that love, hate, fear, intolerance, racism, sexism, kindness, unkindness - all of it begins at home, and nowhere more intimately than around the family dinner table.

This morning, I decided to write a simple prayer that my little family can learn and recite before meals. My goal was to make it easy, short, and true. Then (because I have SO much time on my hands), I thought, “and wouldn’t it be great if it rhymed?” You know, for the kid.

So. I’ve come up with this:

I’m grateful for this meal,
May it nourish, may it heal.
I’m grateful for the Qi —
Precious gift passed on to me.

Held by Earth below,
Steered by Stars above,
I will use this energy well,
I will live my life with love.

En français:

Merci pour ce repas,
d’où il vient, où il va.
Merci pour ce Qi —
Précieux cadeau de vie.

Mes pieds sur Terre,
Mon coeur ouvert,
Je cré à chaque jour
Un monde rempli d'amour.

These are works-in-progress but they’re good enough for now.

Peace begins at home. It all begins at home.

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