Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The other night, I carefully placed a white lace tablecloth on my kitchen table. I was making dinner and making things look lovely for the evening meal.. . But no one was around.
I listened to soothing music and put a pretty candle on the center of the table. Then I put plates, napkins and silverware in each place. . . I did this, knowing everyone was out or busy.
When the food was ready, I created a nice presentation on my dinner plate and walked over to a chair at the table. I sat there all alone and ate. It was a lovely meal.
My teenagers and husband came and went. They ate quickly or not at all. They were busy. They had jobs or events they needed to go to.
On holidays, I like to read to the children and have some time together. But they rush through the events, saying gently, "We are not kids anymore." or "We have other plans." They are busy, growing up and having their own lives. This is normal.
Instead of feeling sad when they don't have time to help bake cookies, or make a special meal, or sit while I read to them, I do it myself and smile. Yes, I read to myself. I bake on my own, and I sit at the beautifully- set table alone.
I do this because it is stable. It brings me joy. . . They all see I am doing this. They rush through their lives, but they can still see what I am doing. And they know they are always welcome at the table, whenever life slows down for them.
I will not change because they are busy. I will not stop setting the table or making special meals, because they need to know those things will always be waiting for them when they need it.
Because one day, when they have grown up, they will remember that mother always does these same things, whether they are able to join me or not. Whether they are busy or not, mother will be sitting at the kitchen table.
They will remember that, despite the hustle and bustle of life, Mother and Home are stable.
Last night, as I sat at my kitchen table, I thought of my religion. I thought of how times and culture change, but my faith must stay the same. I thought of how people get too busy to do the most basic foundational things that keep their spirits joyful and their hearts warm with love. And I realized that by sitting at the kitchen table, even if I am alone, it is similar to how I must keep my religious duties, even if no one else does.
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