Almost a year ago, my friend Colleen sent me a gift in the mail, a book called Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. Found within its pages are stories about food & friendship, parenting & longing, and ultimately, nourishing your soul around the table. It’s about a little of everything & anchors around the idea that, “food is a language of care…It’s the thing that connects us.”
But also, nerves. It took me almost a year to gather up my people. I kept MEANING to organize and invite and plan but I also kept forgetting/second guessing myself/figured everyone was too busy or too tired or too whatever. But finally I texted everyone – a group of woman who didn’t all know each other but had enough threads of connection to make it seem like a perfect web of YES. So I texted. Like 7 or 8 long, wordy, ramble-y texts. Each one said yes and last night we gathered around my table.
All week, I couldn’t stop making details for our dinner party. Place settings, name cards, chalkboard menu, hand written quotes from the book, cactus and succulents to go with our Mexican food theme – I literally couldn’t stop. For me, part of the divine is found in these types of details. It is a whole other way I can communicate care and comfort. It fills me to overflowing.
So, obviously, arrows.
But the best part wasn’t the place settings or the cute name cards. The best part happened at 6:30pm when there was a rush of friends. One walking in the front door, carrying food, the same moment another opening my back door after traipsing through her yard. In seconds, we were chopping, adjusting oven temperatures, hearing kid stories from the day, CONNECTING. One friend has a dairy allergy so separate versions of enchiladas and jalepano poppers, were made with care and marked for good measure. Sangria and guacamole and amaretto mousse. Friends familiarizing themselves with my kitchen, feeding each other in more way than one. We sat to eat around 7:30pm or so and didn’t leave until near midnight. We were full in every sense of the word.
I’m so glad I made space at my table and in my soul for this kind of gathering.
Funny thing, too – I wrote about tables maybe 4 years ago on this blog. You can check out that post here.