It’s funny that today I find myself thinking about tables, mainly eating tables. Not sure why. Maybe because I am sitting at my own dining table this evening working away. All the leaves are in it, extended to its full size, making an elongated oval shape. Love it. Running my hand over the honey-coloured wood grain, I feel the wear and tear in the wood; the many nicks, dents and grooves from many years of use and abuse. (I do not want to think what might be still under the table, like old gum, feared vegetables or boogies, smushed in – ewhy) For me, I love that big table feeling which makes no sense as it is only me right now. But you never know when somebody knocks at your door. It kind of reminds me of my grandparents farm house table, long and sturdy, made for large gatherings. Hospitality, New Brunswick style feeling, down home country kitchen table. They were great for that. Always room for another at the table.
I wonder how many tables I have sat at over the years. I mean it has to be thousands and thousands. Right? Or maybe not. Because in my childhood, I would have sat at the same silver rimmed, formica hard top, with the little swirly designs imprinted kitchen table. How could I recall the detail? I guess when you sat at it for the first 12 years of your life, in some way, it’s ingrained. As would be the next table when we moved, A dark brown oval wood table with high back wooden chairs that suited your bottom. Oh so comfortable. I think 10 more years (minus when I left to university). Then the table became the cafeteria bench fold up seat table. Don’t stay too long. And then my recall of eating tables become a blur until my dining table now.
It always surprises me when visiting other people’s homes what the table looks and feels like. Tables have their own personality, don’t you find? Brings a personality and expectation really. I think of my grandmother’s old dining table, on my mom’s side, passed down to her and now my sister has it. Not sure if it was made out of cherry wood or walnut as it is quite dark in colour. But long, rectangular and solid. I think the legs had wheels. Try to lift it too. Heavy. And when it was ready for the full family, it would extend and extend. When sitting at grandmas table, always a formal feeling of fine dining, manners plus plus. But with my sister, the table changed its personality. Cuisine extraordinaire and “good bread, good meat, good God, let’s eat”. Yep.
I know the dining table, whatever you want to call it, holds many a tale to be sure. Can you imagine if tables could talk. What a story they would tell! You know like ‘how if only walls could talk’ adage. I mean look at the dents and scratches to boot. Oh I can think of many a time over the years, the table would turn into a ‘no eat sit down’ kind of place where you get some news (good or not so good) or maybe it was the timeout spot where you had to think about what you did or someone did (and for the life of you, you cannot remember) or maybe one of those long long sit down lectures (life lessons parents coin but I still call them lectures; oh I do not miss those times dad). I think my mantra was back then or maybe still is, just shoot me now or something like that.
But then I smile because I know my daughters make fun of me but by far one of my most favourite traditions is sitting at the dining table. I did not say dining room but where people gather in one spot, breaking bread together. Kitchen nook, kitchen table, breakfast bar, grand dining, wherever, just to sit a spell with those you love and eat together. Ah the good old days. Who would have thought?!? It is such a novel idea these days I know since to conjure up miracles of orchestrating schedules and commitments and distractions in whatever is going on in the lives of family and/or friends, and then plan to sit at the same table to eat, all at the same time. Well let me say, it is so so hard. Too hard. But when it happens, oh when it happens, I am very grateful.
This takes me back to a time, a treasured memory from childhood when our green top full size ping pong table downstairs in the family room became the finest dining experience – familyfest. The best of the best. Can you imagine the ambiance…net and paddles replaced with table cloth and cutlery?! Whoever came up with the idea, probably my mom, but the sport table transformed into family fine dining, allowing all of the family and cousins to come together to laugh, to share, to eat, to be merry. Joyful bliss. It did not matter what was underneath as we sat in anticipation for the bounty prepared. Oh the gathering
Breaking bread together. Don’t you jut love it! You never know what may happen at the table…usually eating preferably, and could be a celebration of birthdays or holidays or good news or not so good news. Connecting. Bonding. Being. A good old fashion chin wag with good eats. To look at one another in the eyes, sharing of whatever news, the nuances of different personalities coming to the fore, and being present. I mean I do not need all the nitty gritty but come on, to be close and personal, to love and be loved. Know you are safe gathered around the table for just a moment. And yes to sit with you.
Thanksgiving is drawing near and gathering at the table (hopefully, in some way). Blessings this day.
Let us remember all whom are in need of prayers.