This got me to thinking...
My sister and I are blessed to have many things passed down from our great-grandmothers and from family friends.
Rather than sitting in a cabinet to be seen and never touched, in our family the china, crystal, silver and linen were loved by being used for special occasions like birthdays and holidays. There is a deep emotional connection, visceral, as mouth wraps around fork, as lips touch the rim of a wine glass that was used by someone 50 to 75 years ago. Using it taught my sister and me how to handle and care for it. Erva uses her china on a daily basis.
One of my prize possessions is a near complete luncheon set of Harebell bone-china made by Shelly, an English company no longer in existence. It was given to me by Charlotte.
This picture really doesn't do it justice.
But here, on this "eared" cream-soup bowl, you can see the layers of color; the light and dark blues and greens, the lavenders. The vines and flowers look like a gentle breeze is stirring them.
I can almost see fairies peeking out from behind leaves, swinging from the stems.
I remember when Charlotte would set the lunch table for me and her and Gus. Matching tablecloth and napkins, the Harebell, sterling silver flat-ware. She would let me help. I would carry one plate at a time across the concrete floor from the kitchen to the table. Then we'd sit down to some simple meal like sandwiches and a salad. Afterwards we'd clear the table. Charlotte or Gus washed the dishes, I helped by drying and setting them aside on the counter. When everything was clean Charlotte would put the china back on their open shelves which were too high for me to reach.
We don't live like this any more. We don't take the time to dine, even if the fare is simple. We gobble and bolt. Many of us eat off plastic or paper, in front of the TV. We are losing, maybe even have lost, the ability to set a table and sit together.
Yet food and the process of eating is really the only communal thing all humans do. We have no problem eating out and dining with strangers all around us. In fact, we enjoy it, maybe even need it. I think it's genetic, a caveman thing, from a time when we all had to share in the hunting and gathering and thus shared in the meal. Like animals that share a waterhole, enemies and strangers come together in the presence of food.
Maybe the way to world peace is through our stomachs.