I blurted to my husband on my return home from @vibeIsrael, "We need to have more food on the table!" He laughed as I qualified. "What I mean is we need to surround food with more of the joy that brings people together." Be more hospitable. Be more intentional about creating family traditions. Be more aware of forming our own family culture. It's not about the food, but the wonderful way it can bring people together. I believe family traditions are instrumental in cementing memory anchors for our children and are a beautiful way to instil family values. My sisters and I put on our own version of a Passover Seder with representative foods telling a story of hope. And more food did, indeed, come to this table! During the course of the meal, I overheard my daughter ask for more meat, and my husband responded, "Pick whatever piece you like! That is part of the wonderful thing about a feast like this: you can choose what you like; enjoy it." There it is: To me, to him, to her. And back to me again for the joy in it. I've always known the importance of this, in my head perhaps, but I have felt a weight in the application. Maybe because it was another thing to achieve. When that happens, it's useful to come back to - even grapple with - the heart, the underlying, often unspoken assumption, and start again. There was much joy for me in preparing this meal and sharing it.
The other curious component I mentioned in my previous post is the push for innovation I noticed in Israel. This is largely due to limited resources, wide diversity and restricted space. There's a refining quality to Israel culture in that the challenges are significant, and this brings out a striving in the people. If there's a problem, well, then an invention must invented to solve it! They embrace failures and celebrate creativity. There's a certain fearlessness I envy: it engineers out of the box thinkers.
I am grateful for the influences from people I have met and the places I've been. They leave a mark on me. Isn't it a wonderful thing to shape each other? Oh it's rich! A curious balance of significant tradition and innovative creativity: I like it.