A table setting with glasses

This is for all those who gather around the table.
For those who enjoy a home cooked meal
and spending quality time with those they love.

The candles are burning,
and you are finishing the last touches
on the meal as it simmers on the stove.

You spent the day at the farmers market
picking out the finest produce.
Local meats, cheeses and bread.

You’re filled with joy thinking about
everyone who will come around your table.

You live for this—
the gathering of those you love,
those you’ve just met
and those you have yet to meet
around a delicious meal.

You enjoy all the details and intention
put into hosting.
You wonder what the others will bring,
what food they will share
and what memory or tradition each dish holds.

You set the table with your favorite linen and dinnerware,
and florals you foraged from your walk earlier.
The spices simmer and bring an aroma to the room.

You make the finishing touches,
make sure all the details are just right
and place the charcuterie on the table.
The guests will be arriving any minute.

People connecting around the table—it’s the greatest joy.
Laughing,
sharing stories
and enjoying a meal.

Beauty happens around the table.
There’s enjoyment there,
People are embraced
and accepted around the table.

We are met where we are.
We feel loved just the way we are.
We give what we have,
but we receive so much more.

This year, maybe your table feels different.
Maybe it’s a table set for one,
Your phone propped up on your vase, Facetiming a loved one.
Maybe it’s filled with sorrow and grief for what was.

I’m here to tell you—
You are seen.
It’s OK that life doesn’t always look perfect,
even around the table.

The table is meant to be a safe place,
to gather,
to commune
to show up just as we are.
To feel truly known and loved.

The simplicity of a shared meal around a table.
Community—
essential for our well-being.

This season, let’s gather around the table again
With our dearest family and friends.
We need each other.
We need to know we aren’t alone.

In the words of Julia Childs, “People who love to eat are always the best people.”

Image via Kurt Boomer, Darling Issue No. 6

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