Lunch. In America, it’s a quick sandwich while looking at your computer screen, or running through the drive-thru as you eat in the car. And on very busy days, you might not even eat lunch. Here, it’s a two-hour ordeal, every day. You go home to eat lunch, and then you return to work, or school. You may even have time to squeeze in a quick nap. It’s family time in the middle of the day. Businesses close, schools shut their gates for two hours…life stops for lunch.
Here in CV, family means everything to everybody. Many people live with their extended family, and when they get married, they will often build a house near their immediate family. They visit relatives on the weekend, and they talk with their families every day. I constantly ask myself — why do families seem so much closer here, compared to our American households? What is their secret?
As simple as it may sound, I think it has a lot to do with mealtime. Every meal is eaten together – time is allotted to sit down together, to listen to each other. It’s a constant conversation that occurs three times a day. It’s sharing, and participating, in each other’s lives. It’s a tradition that continues from generation to generation. There is always enough time in the day to share a meal together. It’s never a question, everyone will be present every day for mealtime.
Maybe gathering around the table isn’t such a bad idea. What if we made it more of a priority?