Since I was old enough to blink, we've had the same salad bowl in our family. It's a wooden bowl with the inch-wide top of the rim painted red, the rest a burnt orange, with a design on the inside with black, red, yellow and outlined (clear) figures walking in a circle with instruments, animals walking along too, perhaps with a maraca in mouth, dancing jovially with musical notes emanating from their mouths — singing.
It's a joyful display, and one that I didn't really notice until the summer before I left for college, when I was trying to take in every element of my house before I left it for the first time. It was a staple of our family dinners for the duration of my youth.
It's only now, in this era where everyone is thinking about salad more than they ever had before, where I realize why this display is what's found on a salad bowl. Because America is a salad. The world is a salad. America is both part of and its own salad. The people I have met, the friends I have made, the influences I have surrounded myself. It is all a salad. A salad is what lives within the environment. The salad bowl is that environment. The earth is our salad bowl. It is designed — as my salad bowl at home is — for us to interact, merrily, and to indulge in its finer provisions: music, laughter, joy, friendship and pets.
We've realized lately, like I have, that our salad bowl is important. The green movement, which is something we often associate with salads, is going to take an effort from all parties, all parts of the salad, to maintain. We need to realize that salads are good, not just decent. You can dress them, add meat to them, do whatever it takes, but you do it so that you can eat a salad. Because you need to feel that buzz you get from pitching in, because when you eat that salad, you help yourself, you feel like your helping the world, and you know you're making plants feel better about themselves.
Don't forget the salad bowl. For within it, lies all of us.