Wednesday, February 9, 2011
We all say we don't have enough time. But, what do we do with the time we have? And how often do we get to appreciate a window in time.
I have come to appreciate that 27 minutes can make all the difference in the world- not every day, but certainly may be all it takes to deepen relationships, to appreciate and to show 'care' and love.
Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal takes 30 minutes to make. I always try to make it when my kids and grandchildren are in town for a Sunday or vacation. They refer to it as my "special oatmeal' They know it takes times to make it.
Recently, I saw the same oatmeal in a box which said "Ready in 5 Minutes" I called my son and suggested that he buy it so I cook make it for his kids during my visit. By the time I arrived in Boston, he had found that the same brand was now offering "Ready in 3 Minutes" for the oatmeal.
So, I made it for his kids for the few days of my visit- they loved it, and it was great before they left for school.
Then I spent a weekend in the Poconos with my daughter and her extended family. 17 of us in all.
I was in charge of breakfast. In addition to the requisitee bagels, I announced I was making oatmeal and that it would take 30 minutes to make- but it would be worth it. I had one person request it. I made over 2 cups enough for at least 8 adults and the little kids. During the 30 minutes it took to stir, we talked. We set out bowls of nuts, of raisins, craisins, and brown sugar. I told them about the 'magic' of hot oatmeal- how it can make brown sugar 'disappear.' We gathered closer around the table- informed that there weren't enough spoons, I assured them they could eat oatmeal with a fork. By then we realized that there were not enough bowls for the growing number of people who wanted to try the oatmeal. We 're-purposed' the bowls that were holding the nuts and raisins, and by then the sliced fruit.
By the time the oatmeal was first ready, word was spreading that it didn't taste like regular "instant" oatmeal. We ha shared the time of preparation, of anticipation, and of place. As everyone gathered closer to the table, almost everyone was now 'partaking' of the shared breakfast experience. Loving, and building relationships, like old fashioned oatmeal, take time. They are not "instant"
Later, I asked a 5 year old what she liked best about the oatmeal, she answered, "We didn't rush"
27 minutes is more than the difference between "ready in 3 Minutes" and the moments that last a life time.