It is late and I am weary, but in good spirits. Bruce, Philip and I went to dinner at our friends’ house and had a wonderful time. Our kids played together while the adults talked. We snacked on delicious guacamole and chips. then ate wonderful vegan chili, crunchy veggie slaw (so called because of the addition of broccoli) and sweet and light gluten-free cornbread. Somehow, at the end of it all, we managed to find room for dessert (gluten-free chocolate cupcakes). I am still stuffed.
For so many years, Bruce and I have enjoyed hosting meals with good friends. Usually, we host one time and our friends host the next. Sharing meals is a longstanding tradition, of course. I wonder, though, how common it is nowadays. In our community, it is still customary for families to share weekly dinners. This means that, once a week, daughters and sons, with their partners and children in tow, visit a parent’s house and share a family meal. I know that we are like many others, though, who are distanced from family. As a result, we have a surrogate family, our good friends. While busy schedules do not permit weekly meals with friends, we do the best we can. I am particularly grateful when our schedules align and we can enjoy each other’s company.
I’m not sure how good meals with good friends really changes the world. But, I certainly think the world only benefits when the two coincide. The respite helps recharge you. You get to share what you are learning and doing and, usually, get to learn something new. Tonight, for example, we were introduced to YES! magazine. I had never heard about it. In the “About” section on its website, it claims that it “reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions.” Sounds pretty good to me. I will have to look at it more later to see what I think.
I should note that we didn’t solve any of the earth’s problems at tonight’s dinner. We did reassert the importance of manners, sharing, playing fairly and taking turns. Certainly, the world is better for that. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if the solutions to many problems started in a discussion with friends while enjoying a good meal.