Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. [Melody Beattie]

Food gives us reason to be grateful. Grateful for the time shared around the table with loved ones and friends, grateful for the warmth of communion as we engage in this common yet sacred act, grateful for the bread and water many of us are lucky to have accessible. It provides vibrant color to the otherwise empty table. It declares we stop, sit, and enjoy. In reflection on its role in my life, I realize some of the most remembered, most impactful moments are around the table: hearing I’d be an aunt for the first time, learning of my dad’s cancer, celebrating graduations and birthdays and anniversaries, feasting with friends in weekly tradition of doing life together, savoring the art of slowness with after dinner coffee at the conclusion of a fine meal. The table is where we encounter ourselves and others in the most human way. It is the intersection of real and spiritual. This begs us to come to the table with gratitude.

Food also provides a creative outlet for flavor combinations, food styling, tablescape curating, and celebrated forms of gathering. Though some may argue it’s a false reality to create and live within a beautiful table of food, I believe it’s a portal to belonging, this feeling of full contentment at the table.

Food has become one of my favorite photography subjects: meals of many, meals of one, meals on the road.

The moments I crave and remember most from traveling are the sacred moments around a table sharing meals, meals that transport you to authenticity on the other side of the globe, meals where people continue to be people, united in the common desire to sit around a table sharing a meal together. Eating is a divine act of normalcy. 
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