There’s something special about tables. Before you decide I’ve gone completely crazy, hear me out.
You could argue that they’re commonplace, something most people sit down at without thinking twice about. And I couldn’t even disagree because your words would be true. But what is so common and ordinary holds the power to become extraordinary.
We hold hands to say grace over food. We pass the carrots and play another round of Monopoly and all of it is so very ordinary. But then we sit and we share. There is healing at the table when we offer ourselves and our stories, when we’re met with love and ears that listen, hearts that will hold our words safely. We gather together to learn, to listen and love, to laugh. We gather to be with one another, to pray, to play. We’re nourished by the sharing of food and story, of open hands that hold open hearts.
Many months ago I stumbled upon this little image on Pinterest:
Four semesters of Spanish have taught me that the words under sobremesa aren’t really the For Real, This Is Legit definition. But twenty-two years of life have taught me that when you savor the ones who join you around the table, the piece of wood that holds the plates and the food is so much more than a table.
It is a gathering space, a place for hands to be held, laughter to be shared, secrets to be told and hearts to be open.
I’m not trying to glorify the table, but I will defend the idea that a table can be so much more.
Every time I write here, I try to picture you with me, sitting right across the table holding a cup of coffee in your hands. When it feels like I’m writing into the abyss, I pause then pretend you’re here.
And then I write. I write as if we’re talking, just you and me and maybe a few other friends.
You show up and I set the table with words and grace, ideas and space to think and process and dream. And then I scoop an extra spoonful of words into your coffee because writing in a concise manner has never been my spiritual gift.
It’s what we do for our friends, though, is it not? We invite and we set the table and then we enjoy one another’s company. We dish out understanding and serve truth in love. We are honest and we are real. We ask for seconds. We linger at the table long after the meal is over, because at the core of it we aren’t just showing up for the meal.
A few months into having a monthly newsletter, I began to feel super squeamish about it all. It was my favorite thing to write, but the idea of having a newsletter felt too much like a platform. I knew quitting wasn’t the answer but I wasn’t sure how to make the word newsletter feel like two friends catching up.
But then I thought about tables.
And so maybe you get it, maybe you can see why the awkward feeling inside about having a newsletter turned into childish joy at having a space to connect and chat like old friends catching up after too long. It is legit my favorite thing to write every month, my favorite space to gather and share secrets and updates with a good bit of sass mixed in.
The past two gatherings I’ve hinted at a secret that was threatening to spill out, but a few details needed to be dealt with first. But I’m just saying, the table is set, the details are taken care of, and the email is going out this week.
There is always another seat, always more room. You grab the coffee, I’ll grab another place setting, and then we’ll just chat.
By now hopefully you know my heart for this space right here is so big, so huge, that it is constantly on my mind. I think about you all the time, even though I’ve only met a handful of you. But The Table? It’s like having an inner circle.
I’ve got a place set for you. Join me there?