A Meal. Just one word? Is that all? 4 letters?
Those 4 letters actual carry the weight of 2 hours of hard work early in the morning. Starting at the break of dawn.
In a hot and steamy kitchen. In between getting other things done. Figuring out what else needs attention.
Back breaking labor. To produce A Meal.
A Meal that is unpacked 5 hours later. And enjoyed. A Meal that brings sucor to a hungry person. Recharging body and mind to strive on with the rest of the day.
A Meal that is normally consumed, albeit with relish, but often without any thought to what went into it. Not just the edible ingredients but also those that linger in the mind and soul. The work that went into the preparation. The thought that went into the planning. The planning that spans not minutes but days when stock is taken of the contents of the larder, the preparation of shopping lists, the shopping itself, the storage of the purchased groceries, the mental weekly menus, the love of it all.
A Meal that sometimes reminds us of all that is behind the simple pleasure of a full belly. Only sometimes, unfortunately.
And the most important part – we often assume that the preparation of The Meal is nothing but a chore and try to be helpful and say – “I have to leave early today so don’t bother with lunch. I will grab a bite in the cafeteria”, thinking that we are being kind, and then being offended that our kindness was rebuffed by a quickly prepared hot meal handed to us as we step out the door earlier than usual. The Meal prepared in one hour instead of the usual two. Forgetting that The Meal is not just A Meal.
And we often also forget that the person preparing the meal also has a full time job. That they have to prepare The Meal not just in time for us to leave for work but in time for them too to get to the biometric punch gate at their office. On time.
Perhaps the only way to say “Thank You for The Meal”, is to enjoy it. And to get out of bed a little earlier each morning and help take care of the hundred other morning chores while The Meal is being prepared.
Thank you my Dear. For All The Meals.