You say grace before meals.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before the concert and pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in ink.
G. K. Chesterton, from an early notebook circa 1890s
I giggle at the thought of someone near and dear to those at Willow Manor, who never misses the chance to say grace before every meal, and who enjoys delivering extra loud, long graces in public places. We all know those of a certain generation, who say a pre-meal grace almost superstitiously, like tossing salt over one's shoulder, or knocking on wood. It's a lovely, nearly extinct tradition, that for today, may have lost its original purpose, its poetical beauty, and meaning.
With October already amazingly behind us, November brings thoughts of the Thanksgiving holiday, considering the year's "harvest". In this modern age, most of us are not concerned on a daily basis with the actual process of cultivating our meals from the soil of the earth. But I like the notion, just like G. K. Chesterton, of embracing the fruits of our labors, the embodiment of creativity, the beauty of daily routine, our personal harvests, so to speak, with a certain grace and appreciation. Yes, I say... grace.
image: from my Abandoned America series, "Gloves in a Barn", Dublin, Ohio