The Table. . . the altar of the family



It was a different time frame and there were no credit cards nor funds to back what we desired.  Several elderly English/Scottish relatives had given to our growing family bits of china that had been cherished.  Not whole sets,  but pieces.  And I dearly wanted a hutch to show these pieces.  Decades later we found to our delight a hutch and 4 chairs but no table.  The owner of the establishment,  a dear friend,  said but if you settle for a pine table I think I can talk someone to finish it like the hutch.  We looked at the pine table and thought but pine to look like cherry wood?  The retired craftsman took a drawer from the hutch and in a few weeks delivered the table.  I have loved it to a fine polish over half my life.  We protected it with tablecloths and place mats worn threadbare.  But  for every day and 3 meals a day, it seated a loving family and friends and if we had ears to hear,  it would tell wondrous tales.  There is always much beneath the surface of what would be considered simple and dull.  But coming to light with tender care and deep desire is a story worth telling.  And learning from.

The Table. . .the altar of the family

It stands polished,
a reflection of the times we sat
and were fed as  family and friends.

It held the food that had us
leaning with our elbows and
sipping the coffee and the wine,

We shared our laughter and
our griefs and the latter can only
be remembered in spurts and hurts.

The good times, the salving
of the wounds we remember clearly.
Our words poured from our hearts
and whoever listened was
the crystal vessel that cupped them.

At this time as my body balks,
memories are awakened each time
I stand and view the table
crowded with them.

When we meet again,
we will sit and tell each other
what has happened since we last sat
and supped together.
We will again make new memories

in a world just created.


4 responses to “The Table. . . the altar of the family”

  1. Very nice! This really captures the memories and the feeling of comfort of sitting around the family table. Sitting in any of the chairs seems to push the play button and the family history is retold. The past remains a living part of us.

  2. email from Jane Mc. . love this….I do think dining table are truly the center of the home…After my mother died, my brother and his son sat at her table with the rest of us and commented on this very thought…that around it had centered the family for many years and if only it could talk…Altar is the right word to be sure!! Thank you for your insightful writings!! love, jane

  3. John and Maria, I think somehow humanity loses when we don’t approach the table as we would a sacred place. Here is where we are most vulnerable, our hearts at altar level. Approachable. We must alter our thinking, or perhaps altar our thinking. . .

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