By Sandy Swegel
One cannot but be overwhelmed by gratitude at holiday tables made with so much scrumptious food. In this age of “spiritual, not religious,” it can be hard to say “Grace” in a way that includes everyone. Yet gratitude leaps from us as we stand before splendid banquets.
Speaking in praise of food or of the Earth which yields such bounty is a safe communal prayer that we all understand. We who garden know the hard work and miracles that have to happen to bring food to the hungry. We who cook know our gift is not just in making food edible but in making it sing with flavor and color. We who shop know food often comes from far-off fields, from people who may not speak our language but who know the language of plants. As you prepare for your holiday feasts, be ready to sing gratitude for the food, for the soil and rain, for the seed companies, for the growers, and for all the middle people–the truckers and stockers and cashiers–who worked together to make your table abundant.
My inspiration for a holiday “Grace” has started with a poem fragment from Stephen Levine.
The Salad. (Excerpt)
— “The Salad” from Breaking the Drought by Stephen Levine