Lunch under the tree, Constantia
One of my favourite soapboxes is about eating. Not about eating artfully or expensively or for three hours over eight courses. Or eating under the tree like this, above. No
But about every day. About what we eat. And with whom. And where. And how often. It is a feeling in - appropriately - my gut that sitting down, whether we are alone, or with our one, two or seven person family, with our plate of food and our glass of wine or water or milk, is a good way to hold our lives together, inside and out, and also to plan - not only in words but quite subconsciously - where they are going.
Not only does the food we eat demand some respect and consideration, but so do the people we live with. And if we find we cannot give them that, it is time to move out and to move on. But for our children, that is not an option. We may see them every day, but sitting down to eat, together, also gives us the chance to - forces us, really - to look each other in the eye while chewing, and listen. And to talk. To them.
So this Eat Well to Be Well article in the Times appealed to me. Though I still add the argument that while we might be eating proper food (as so many are not) - fresh fruit, vegetables - how and where we eat is just as important in terms of where our emotional lives are headed.
Emily Post must be loving me right now but regardless: At table - or at picnic on the grass or living room floor, for that matter - we learn manners, which to me, means a basic kindness, basic consideration, basic generosity, basic discipline. It is also one of the simplest places where we can express interest in our children, in our parents, in one another.