There is an African proverb that says, “Plenty sits still; hunger is a wanderer.”
As a girl, I knew that proverb by heart, eventually understanding that I fear being unsettled. If I can, I cling to comfort, though I try to push myself past this. I know why I crave safety: my Grandpa Golden. I knew him only in his “plenty” years, although his memories of want proved unshakable. As with so many from that time, the hardships of the Great Depression ran deep. The lack of food punctuated his memories.
For Grandpa, each meal was wonderful. Grandpa would arrive to watch Mom set the table. This ritual delighted him as much as eating!
Grandpa found happiness in simple and profound things. By watching him, I saw that in hunger, he sought reasons to give thanks. In plenty, he counted his blessings and prepared for the road’s next turn.
This message is adapted from “Relationships around Food” by Karris Golden in the February 2010 issue of Cafe. Today we remember Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, martyr, who died in 156.