Stop and consider for a moment how often you approach the kitchen and experience, if not physically, at least internally, a smile. Granted, if we have left a pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen, the kitchen does not make me smile when I enter it and realize how much work I have to do. Generally, though, when I approach the kitchen, I find myself in “smile mode.” If for no other reason, I know that I am going to eat something good–even if it’s something as simple as an apple or a piece of toast. I also know that I am going to have some important time–either with those I love around a meal, or quietly by myself. Both are welcome, and they make me smile.
I am convinced that smiling is an incredibly powerful thing. Smiling makes me feel better, even when I consciously choose to smile at moments when I don’t otherwise feel like it. Smiling makes those I am approaching or receiving feel better. It speaks “welcome” on a non-verbal level. I have even noticed that when I consciously engage in smiling that it very quickly changes my mood from whatever it was to a higher level of feeling. In turn, it feels to me like I am able to share that higher level of feeling.
Doesn’t that sort of make us walking kitchens, if we want to think of it that way? The Kitchen is a place of nourishment, safety, joy, communion, connection and tender care. It’s the place that makes me smile, inside and out. We can go out into our world today and with nothing more than a smile become “The Kitchen” for others all day long. And, because of the reciprocal power of a smile, we get to enjoy “The Kitchen” wherever we go and share a smile wth others.