The most exquisite fruits are at our doors. —-Song of Songs 7:14
There was love at our door last night.
Love and laughter. Conversation. Good food and wine and shared experiences.
We laughed. We chatted. We ate together and toasted one another and gave thanks for family, friendship, love.
I am grateful.
Oh. And did I mention a wee bit tired?
We were 18 for an early Christmas dinner last night and while I absolutely love the preparation, the anticipation and the experience of hosting friends and family around a table, it is a lot of work.
Thankfully, everyone brought something to make the evening a little easier and for me, much more enjoyable, as I love how the gift of food deepens the meaning of a meal. It creates its own special flavours, as if the donor is saying, here, I am sharing a little bit of me through this dish. And the meal becomes a beautiful, tasteful blend of my food and your food joining together, just as our hearts do when we sit around the table and share in a meal cooked especially to celebrate our friendship, our bond, one another.
My mother came and sat quietly as she does, taking it all in. And when she left, she took with her the small star shaped name card I’d made for each guest so everyone would know where they sat, and have something to take home with them. “I took my star,” she whispered to me as my sister and her husband were about to take her home. “I like to show off to my friends and tell them how brilliant you are.”
All four of our children were there as were the son and daughter of my very, very dear friends, Al and Jane. Their children are my ‘tall’ children. I’ve known them since their mother and I were both pregnant together. I’ve known their parents even longer. I was on their first blind date years before the idea of ‘them’ ever came into being.
Our roots are deep.
As are my roots with my wonderful and loving friends Ursula and Andrew who bring great joy, love and heartfulness to the table and my life — not to mention to die for cauliflower and buns shaped like a Christmas tree! It also happened to be Andrew’s birthday and even though he told me not to make a fuss, we celebrated his presence in the world with a song and when we were done, and the candles on the Advent wreath, which was posing as his birthday candles for the evening, were blown out, he gave a brilliant speech which had the whole table laughing.
It was a heartfelt and heartful evening. Sitting around that table, candles flickering and twinkly lights sparkling, seeing the smiling faces, listening to the laughter and hearing the stories, I felt immersed in the wonderful concoction that is family and friends. Bonds and relationships that make my life rich and meaningful.
We had an early Christmas dinner last night to celebrate the presence of my eldest daughter who was here for a pre-Christmas visit. It was a gift of family and friends, a gift of deep roots and meaningful relationships that have stood the test of time, stood up to time’s challenges and brought joy and love into my world every day of the year.
I am grateful. I am blessed. My heart is full.
And now, I know, ‘Tis the season.
Let the festivities begin.