The round, the oval, the rectangle memory builder, maker.
The dining, the coffee, the end, the side, the row, column of data. The table.
A vehicle for feasting the soul, the heart, the mind.
In one transformative sweep it morphs from holder of today’s bills and mail to the meeting place for high school english project. Piles of candy recharge, refuel the teenage mind, while brainstorming crisscrosses her mahogany Pledge shine surface with ideas to make the project better. More A worthy for the teacher.
And its held recreations of a Civil War battle and the solar system, glued construction paper replica, comes together where china, crystal, linen napkins share the place of honor.
She becomes the family board meeting table, hosting discussions of what went well, what bruised hearts at school this day. She, firm, steady, noble bears up under tears of joy, tears of happiness. Tears. Holds up well during squabbles or were they full-blown fights.
She has born witness to those who failed to follow the family protocol sent from her to their rooms, off to think in solitude, of how they hurt, whom they hurt. Her eyes have seen the dogs fed scraps of cold peas, stewed tomatoes remnants of the unwanted slipped beneath her.
And all the Cheerios spilled. Thrown. High chairs pulled up to her until the graduation to a real seat. Elbows on her. Nervous hands rattle silverware, ADD herky jerky knives and forks tap tap out like morse code on her chocolate brown surface. Spilt milk, water pools over, rivers of running liquids spilled and wiped, wiped and spilled again.
Like the family secrets. Spilled. The table holds the family up together while the abundance is passed, salad, bread, more than enough even in times of want. And there is pass the salt, pass your words so we can know your heart. More spilled liquids, more spilled dreams and then we move from the table.
And the every changing centerpiece of the real centerpiece of the home is this place of nourishment. The sunflowers, baskets of shells, rosemary mixed in, the gardenia and hydranga, they mark a season, mark a life.
It all is so abundant there. The way He has filled us up. The way the mana keeps on coming. Flowing.
The way a table is not needed when you grab a tray a plate and balance on your lap, serving from the table now becomes a buffet for a house full. She serves so graciously. Always ready to transform into the wooden vessel of service.
It is the departure point for life, we move from her after nourishing our bodies, minds, and souls. The side holds books, the coffee holds papers screaming a headline. The bedside holds bibles, more books.
And she has heard the voices of the High -Low game, played over her. The best of the day, the worst of the day tossed back and forth like ping pong ball over and around. Marking the day with baked chicken mashed potatoes. My high is being here with you, The Patient one says. This meal, this time. She hears confessional of what blesses the breadwinner’s heart. The being sur la table. Looks out and on his family from the head.
And she bears witness to the words of thanks for the grateful hearts creaking back in chairs, rocking back on back legs wobbly.We are grateful for the abundance. Children and friends and friends of friends. Monopoly and dominoes shuffled cards.
Blessings sung, off key, in unison, blessings spoken. Children’s easy God is Great, but for all ages, because God is Great and He is Good. And the long ones spoken by the mother while her children squirm and say the food is getting cold.
She has seen eggs died, dipped, rolled on her at the celebration of His resurrected life. And Christmas mornings too, with Luke and children’s books read. Moravian sugar cake, coffee-cake, casseroles, and carols, candles. She has heard the telling of His birth seen the bird carved up and served. Thanksgiving feasts laid in thanks with gratitude through the years.
Her memories tabled in a column in a row of data, she sees the life lined up and stacked. Life and portions served from the left, cleared from the right. Napkin in your lap spoken one thousand times or more. Mabel, mabel get your elbows off the table. Candle wax dripped, cut off with a knife. Red wine spills and stains, tears spilled and stained.
Announcements made, plans made, the best laid plans made and tabled, the discussion is over. You may go to your room. You may clear. You may set. You may be excused. May I be excused too. You may.
Bow your heads. No peeking. She could write a book.
There was the time she opened her engagement ring, wrapped in a box in a box in a box, from him, there, at the table, at her parents. And there was the time. All the time, the rhythm of the meal, no bare feet, the knife guards the spoon from the fork, its a battleground sometimes. Crease in the napkin, more linen than paper. No condiments random, must be wrangled in a proper container. And there was the time.
Chapter One. In the beginning was the table, she served her family well. May she rest well after years of service.
Until she takes her place with the next generation.
And takes her place as the centerpiece of service, serving others, always.
God is Great, God is Good, Let us thank Him….for the table a place for feasting on the life abundant.
Counting gifts, gratefully, time, crisp air, hope, pink morning sky, peace, good news, more peace, gracious words, more hope, pink mums, time to reflect back on a life of a young mom who died at 48 and hear the words of the funeral from two of our children, cherishing the days we have, seeing the abundance in this life, time with old friends – tender, sweet, seeing God’s hand of protection and sovereignty, too many to count.
And now its time for your words. Because hearing yours is an important part of being in a community. You may leave one word or many, but I do love to hear from ya’ll. There is a comment box below, there is a leave a comment link on high. Either way, they wait for your words to spill and add more color.
You may leave words on Facebook, Twitter or my email inbox. Those are great word repositories too.