The Importance of the Dining Table

I’ve been having some interesting conversations lately about this subject….

Dinner waiting al fresco.

Dinner waiting al fresco.

We are having such beautiful evenings of late. It is warm and the aroma of scented flowers wafts in the air.

We don’t eat till later now with daylight saving, so there’s nothing nicer than sitting on the outdoor seating watching the sun slowly go down.

This sketch was done as the sky and sea were changing from bright colour and becoming pale and smokey. The middle distance hills were really dark and the distant ones less so.

The candles on the table were bring a warm glow to the food and wine and as it got darker it was tricky to get that look.

I think I’m happy enough with the feeling it conveys. The light was now changing very rapidly.

Back to that subject of dining together at the table. Those of us with families become aware very early on, that by eating together at a dining table – with television off –  you’ll have communication.

It may seem like hard work sometimes with those extra activities, sports, those who get in late and so on, but just aim for it. Sometimes timing doesn’t work, but whoever is home goes ahead, and it’s nice if you can sit with the late ones when they get in.

This is when family values, moral & ethical codes are established. You don’t need a whiteboard to get this message across. It comes through conversation and discussion  – not lecturing. Ideas are exchanged and thoughts put into words. Everyone has a say and everyone learns to listen and respect those speaking. All established when the little ones are old enough to eat at the table with you.

It’s interesting that this subject pops up now again with friends.  Particularly when one of your offspring is about to launch themselves out into world, away from the apron strings. It’s actually what you brought them up to do! Somehow you hope they’ve learned enough from you all by being ‘at the table’ all their young lives.

Most people know it’s important, but can’t always get it sorted so they all eat separately at different times, not being able to appreciate the food itself or have time to enjoy and appreciate it. Perhaps there are important lessons & missing stories that the kids don’t get to learn. i.e. what is everyone’s place in the family, and how to listen learn, respect and support, and share the triumphs –  including other family members. What lessons are learned from our own?

I adore dining at a table. There have been many many tables and there would be fascinating stories which have passed across them. Some have been no more than a packing case and plank. It doesn’t matter. Life is a story everyday.



  1. Julie Forsyth

    This is a beautiful post, thank you Erin.. and thank you for expressing the importance of this simple family occasion, the coming together around the table, we should do more of it!


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