This is a picture of my favorite table in my favorite home. I lived in Santa Fe for a few years and the memories of the people I had around this table and the times of great food and conversation will never leave me.
I had artists, filmakers, strangers, live in roommates, coworkers, neighbors and most precious of all my three daughters sit around this table while I whipped up something in the kitchen for them.
My life was one of independence and yet a new kind of community for me. I had divorced and moved to Santa Fe without knowing a soul. But with in a very short period of time, my table was full of new friends.
Having guests at my dinner table is one of the most soul satisfying events. I say event because I strive for each meal to be one of delight both to the taste and to the eyes. That feeling of a beautifully laid table and then, the arrival of the food and great wine evokes the deep longing we all have for connectivity, for a mutual savoring of what we sustain our bodies with and what we sustain our souls with-conversation.
Sometimes the conversation is light and seemingly unimportant-the day’s weather, the news, the newest smart phone. Other times, it is laced with information sharing-a getting to know you better exchange. And then there is laughter! It is the river that runs deep through the passages of our being. Someone begins a laugh and then the next person picks it up and passes it along as they would pass the dishes of food. Everyone is laughing and for a moment the core of the laughter is a moment of connectivity. We all wipe the tears the heavy laughing has produced, and the bearer of the humor smiles proudly at his achievement.
I love the long conversations, especially after a couple of glasses of wine, a full stomach and then, desert to set it off. That lingering around the table and going deep to thoughts and feelings that only reveal themselves in this magic hour while candles are burning slowly.
The Table is where friendships are forged, where moments of bliss created by the fullness of good food and company, can mingle on past midnight. These are the treasures I take with me wherever I am.
I moved to a new city recently and sadly, I had to leave behind my large table and chairs, my thick adobe walls of my home and the good times in my home.
I live in a flat above a garage. It is only 450 square feet, but the first item of furniture I bought was a table. It’s much smaller than my gorgeous handmade table, but I can easily sit 5 people around it. Before I even had my belongings sent here, I was already whipping up meals and serving them in the few modest plates that had been loaned to me. On the day my belongings came, I unpacked the kitchen items first and proceeded to have a small dinner party the next night!
Yes, I was so exhausted that I was afraid if I sat down with my dinner guests, I would fall head down into my plate, but having my new friends around ( it was actually a birthday party) the table and whipping up a delicious carrot cake for his birthday was fun.
So, if you are reading this and you have either been at my table or wish to come, welcome.
And if you have your own table, be it in your large or small home, or you eat out at your favorite spot (your public table), bring a stranger, a friend, a co-worker, or family member with you. Engage with them and find a laugh between you, a sweet adoration of the other or a confession of your weakness or pain.
There’s always room at my table- where my heart is open and my food nutures your being!