give thanks: a reflection from don gaines
As I got older I let go of that old tradition of saying a prayer before your food. I let go of closing my eyes when praying. The “normal” way we pray didn’t mean as much to me. I found that connection in other things like music, writing, art, movies, friends, nature, and food. Food has become one of my biggest connecting points to any sort of higher power yet I seem to have lost the thankfulness for that food.
Tonight I sat in a room wishing I could join in a meal mostly to sit down and have common conversation with people I don’t get to engage that often. I didn’t join in this meal because it wasn’t in line with dietary standards I’ve decided for myself. Then I witnessed a simple, run-of-the-mill, religious action: someone praying over their food.
I can’t tell you the last time I’ve done that. One of my mostly agnostic friends always prays over food when we eat together. It’s partly silly, because he always addresses a god he isn’t sure exist, and partly genuine because the time we get to spend together is so little. I was reminded of my friend while watching this guy pray over his food.
For as much as I talk about food and how important it has become to me I’ve completely lost the thankfulness for it. I eat 3 hearty meals a day. Good stuff too. Lots of veggies, fruits, complex carbs, whole grains, etc. I’m doing everything I’ve come to believe is right…except being thankful. For that I’m sorry. I’m not even sure it’s god I’m supposed to be thankful to. I guess it’s a lot of people. Farmers, “illegal” immigrants, truck drivers, train workers, the whole lot.
I know it’s not thanksgiving or anything like that but, give thanks.