There is a little hole in the all Chinese carry out place on the way home between Gregory at Lieberman and the condo. When I leave Gregory, I call from the car and my order is ready to pick up as I pass.
The place is clean but old, gently used, and not too attractive. Overgrown plants in odd assortments of ceramic Chinese pots line the counter edge and part of the shelves in the windows.
While there are three stools at each window shelf, I've never seen anyone eating there. Same for the table with four chairs tucked into a corner.
Today a Black man was sitting at the table. Amy, the owner / order taker / cashier delivered to him, reaching over the cash register; a plastic fork, napkin, and paper plate loaded with fried rice.
In this atmosphere of neglect, necessity, and crowdedness the man bowed his head and mumbled a prayer over his food before he began eating.
It caused me to stop for a minute to think about how often I gobble down a meal or a snack; an order of fried rice; and don't give a thought of thanks for how the meal got to me.
The sky, the clouds, the sun, the rain, the earth, the farm.
The people involved in growing the food, processing the food, packaging the food, selling the food, and transporting the food to market.
The restaurant owners who purchased the food, prepared the food, cooked the food, and served the food.
Now bring to the table the suffering, sorrow, joy, and happiness of all those people involved. Think of them getting up every day, going to work, finishing a day, and going home to their families.
Think of all the trials and tribulations, positive and negative, of what these people go through at work, at home, in their lives, in their homes, with their families, with their health.
What a lot I have to be grateful for and what a lot of people have been involved in providing my sustenance. I should stop and think of them and thank them more often.
Like the Black man did for a few moments when he bowed his head and prayed over his fried rice.