Very soon after arriving back in Maui from our 4 month adventure in SE Asia I flew to California to attend a women’s retreat. Four days at a lovely high desert retreat center with nothing to do but sink into practices and teachings designed to stretch, deepen and shake up my very stuck spots.
And yes… be nourished mind, body and soul. I so needed this.
One of the many lovely things about this retreat was that we had a chef making breakfast, lunch and dinner for us.
We’d rise early and a gorgeous breakfast was laid out for us to dart our day with.
We’d spend the morning in teachings and practices and then break to integrate and move into the dining room for another bountiful spread of soul and body nourishment.
Same for dinner.
Where I lamented far and wide while traveling that every meal I had was ‘out’ and I hadn’t cooked in almost 5 months and it was sucking me dry… this was very different.
There was such a profound sense that as a group and as an individual we/I were being taken care of, supported and buoyed while we did the work of our spiritual path. My soul and body was being fed in such a loving way. It made a huge difference in my being able to lose myself to the retreat with no cares at all.
This really opened my eyes to how sacred and truly profound the role of the family cook is.
At home, I’m the cook. So it isn’t often I’m on the receiving end of being cooked for. And more importantly, when Jon cooks it’s a treat, which is a wonderful thing for very different reasons. It doesn’t convey what is so integral to the daily home cook’s meal: consistency.
The sheer consistency a home-cook provides is a framework that those being fed can and do rely on without even thinking about it. This is a rich and gorgeous offering of sustenance and soul ministry that we rarely consider.
Whether those that come to the table day in and day out recognize this need for consistency is another thing. Though it doesn’t really matter. Underneath it all is the powerful message that no matter what occurs, what is needed for nourishment can be found at the dinner table, given with love by the person who stewards this role in the home. Powerful stuff. And it makes me take note of how consistent I am for Jon and I in our home. It brings more gravitas to the act and to my desire to offer up this service of love with committed intention. This is about love and service.
Sacred work, this.