The thing I remember most about my Grandma Thelma’s house is the kitchen table. It bore a red & white checked tablecloth, kept the sugar bowl elusively out of my childhood reach, & always seemed to be awaiting the next family meal, or cup of coffee & piece of famed apple pie. It’s where telephone calls took place visitors were welcomed. Just as my grandmother was the center of a large family & network of neighbors & friends, her kitchen & table seemed to be the centrifugal nucleus of the home. It strikes me now what a statement of her character it was that we all looked forward to sharing in the preparation of a meal with her, or even in cleaning up. My grandmother’s voice would crack with gentle strength as she sang hymns long-practiced over sinks full of dishes, & gazed out anew at the hummingbirds flitting to feed outside the window.
There are so many good memories to choose from, but the best thing was that the table always seemed to be prepared…just waiting for meals to be shared, grace to be said, bread to be broken. Part of having such satiating experiences requires openness, preparation, thanksgiving, & anticipation. Those that provide for us such refuge & nourishment are like this. Guests are always welcome, room is always made, both fullness & quietness are always appreciated. In gratitude, we remain present in the moment. In expectancy, the table remains prepared & enjoyed.