What I Bring to the Table

It was on the bottom shelf, under a layer of grunge and some chipped Santa Claus plates. I brought it out into the light and scratched gently at the dirt with a fingernail. For the price of a few quarters it was mine.

I brought it home, nested it gently in a sink of hot soapy water, washed my hands, put the dough to rise. Under my dishcloth the shine of its glaze emerged. Dried it rested on my counter simply belonging there.

Hours later that house that was so quiet for the sifting and the measuring,the treasure washing and the dough rising, and heat and fragrance of baking has filled with the tumble and laughter of Friday afternoon glee. Backpacks with their school books and yawning emptied lunchboxes have been banished to the mudroom. The sauce is simmering on the stove, short work is made of chores, and outside leaves rain down, bed made for a first frost over the weekend.

I’m piling the honey wheat rolls on the new to me platter, carrying them in when I realize. On the best days, this is what I do. I take in my hands the raw materials and coax them into nourishment and fullness and comfort. I shape them between my palms and place them into the heat and draw them back again at the right time. I unearth beauty and usefulness from what has been discarded: rescue and wash, soak and polish, find a place and fill.

And then to these souls, given to my care, I bring what I have made. To these bright faces around the table, come home with their stories I am carrying what was done and made in the quiet morning house. And much of it will disappear as we chatter and share, roses and thorns, passing the plates.

But it is enough, the crumbs left on the platter, the napkins sauce-smeared, the candle wicks snuffed. This is what the last portion of a good day looks like.


5 thoughts on “What I Bring to the Table

  1. tonia

    your post was about so much more than this, but i just have to say how much i love *women* and the gift of home-making…it just speaks to my heart of love and it is a joy to see you in action. 🙂

  2. Deanna

    I just found your blog from Like Merchant Ships. I know I’m a year late to this entry, and I usually just lurk, but I have to tell you, that was just so beautiful. I’d be hard pressed to think of anything I’ve read that was more beautiful. This is alot of what life is about for me. Thank you.


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