Someone at Brooklyn Quaker Meeting this morning told me that I should really be collecting my spoken messages and putting them in a book. I suppose this is my way of honoring that sweet sentiment. This is the message I shared this morning at Brooklyn Meeting (more or less):
I spent this Thanksgiving with a friend's family instead of heading home to be with mine for a change. I always find it interesting to spend the holidays with another family. You learn all about their own traditions, their lore, their shared stories that bind them all together.
It was a wonderful feast we shared together. But there was something curious at the end of the meal.
Instead of what I thought was the typical divvying up of the leftovers for all the guests to take home with them, there was almost no food left at all. They purposely made just enough food for just that one meal.
Apparently this was because in the past there had been some arguments over the leftovers — who got the drumstick or the bigger piece of pie, etc. So to spare everyone the drama, they decided to just make enough for that one meal, which sounds like a pretty good compromise.
Except in my family. This would be seen as a huge failure.
I don't know about where you come from, but in the Philippines, if you have a party and you invite people over, you better make sure everyone goes home with a goodie bag full of leftovers or you won't hear the end of it. It's just how things are done.
Sitting here in Meeting this morning, I have been reflecting on how we are all gathered around this shared table, contributing our own dishes, and sharing in the bounty of silence together. Today, I am just so thankful for all of you and all that you bring.
And I can enjoy this rich meal both now and later, when I return home with the leftovers. Thank you.