A platitude, certainly. Taken from a child’s autograph/friendship book, perhaps, but no less true for being so. It is immensely satisfying to spend time around the table with the family.
If already happy for every minute spent together at home, how joyous to gather for culinary delights in the garden – and this is not to say that time stands still, as is so often alleged.
However, the impression that some events unfold more slowly than others shows just how strongly our sense of time is influenced by our feelings – if we are enjoying ourselves, time stretches out – and the open sky too, plays its part in intensifying our sense of ease and leisure.
Beyond this sensual dimension, time shared transmits values across a wider spectrum of society – and especially for the young guests. It functions like an anchor, provides orientation in the daily hustle and bustle, and encourages important social skills such as table manners, sharing, listening to and letting others finish speaking.