Beauty and the Bento Box
Creating beautiful, nourishing meals is a work of art.
Clearly, there is more to nourishing our bodies than the food we eat.
It is a soulful act.
Tending the food we eat can be an artistic endeavor that brings a deep satisfaction to life.
As an educator, I have found that taking my lunch to school does not mean I have to loose that soulful quality.
Preparing to eat is as important as the food I eat.
Several years ago, a friend shared a special lunch box she had found – a Japanese bento box.
I was immediately taken by its simple beauty and order.
And it was so practical!
Taking out my bento box has this wonderful quality of ceremony.
Bento boxes are nestled into a furoshki – a cloth, napkin or special bag it is carried in.
I love how each box is so organized and ordered with stacked containers.
Hidden places are within for forks and chopsticks and a tidy band to hold it all together.
There is a presence of respect for the food I am about to eat.
It is so lovely (there are fun bento boxes as well).
I have that feeling of a set table in the teacher’s lounge!
My lunch is surrounded by the warmth of the bento box.
The bento box has a history of bearing beautiful food.
My friend Josh, who has lived in Japan, said the Japanese mothers work very hard to pack their children’s bento boxes with gorgeous nibbles of delicious food.
Check out this popular supplier and see the all the different tools to preparing the food! http://www.jbox.com/category/820
I remember years ago, one of my Waldorf mentors said the most profound thing to me.
She said, “Who you are is the most powerful force in the classroom.
This means how you bring yourself to your most basic daily tasks.
This is what educates the children you teach.
Begin bringing mindfulness and beauty to the mundane tasks of every day life.”
The Bento Box is mindfulness at its best.
Sally Haughey is a Waldorf trained teacher teaching kindergarten in the public school in Oklahoma. She strives to enliven the work and to bring mindfulness to all she does in the classroom. You may find more from Sally at Fairy Dust Teaching.
Photographs by Sally Haughey