The first time Doodle Bug had been exposed to the idea of "saying grace" was during his time attending Head Start (for those unfamiliar, HS is a federally funded preschool program designed to monitor childhood development). I volunteered there a lot and ate lunch with the little ones. Before each meal the teacher and her aides led the children in a mealtime prayer that they simply called "Peaceful".
I didn't know what to expect, and was delighted with the short, sweet, non faith-based prayer that followed. There were also hand/arm motions.
Hands clasped before you.
"Before me , peaceful."
Hands touching behind the back.
"Behind me, peaceful."
Hands making small circles at your sides.
"All around me, peaceful."
Hands clasped over chest/heart.
"Within me, peaceful."
I have not been able to find evidence that this is a prayer officially used/endorsed by the Head Start system, and so tip my hat to the organizers of Doodle Bug's school for finding and using such a simple and pleasing way of saying grace in a public setting.
After doing a bit of research to find out more about "Peaceful", I've come to find that the words are taken from a Navajo proverb that goes: "Before me peaceful, behind me peaceful, under me peaceful, over me peaceful, all around me peaceful."
When we do find ourselves in a place where we are prompted to say grace, "Peaceful" comes to mind and should any of you suddenly be called upon to say grace in mixed religious company, I invite you give "Peaceful" a try.