I had an early gig today, catering a small lunch at the church for a group of meditators. They came through ice and snow to sit on cushions for three hours in the yoga room, have a meal in the dining room, then sit on their cushions for three more hours.
There was no talking. No phones. No words. Silent meditation.
In the dining room they spread themselves out among the tables. One person here, another there. Their energy was contained. Held close.
I pushed a service cart around the room, setting down plates of sautéed vegetables topped with patties of lentil and quinoa, returning a few minutes later with smaller plates of fresh orange slices, pineapple.
I’m not used to serving a silent room. Usually when there’s even a handful of people in that space, it’s lively.
I was acutely aware of the rattle of the service cart.
Everyone smiled, pantomimed their thanks. When they were finished eating, they carried their plates and tea mugs to the bus tub, set them down as quietly as they could, and went back upstairs.
It’s interesting, the way silence changes a space. The way the presence of silent people fills a room.
I finished up in the kitchen and joined them for the last hour. Happy they’d come. Happy to have fed them. Happy to not have to make small talk.