Recently my daughter in law, who truly is an amazing writer, wrote a blog post about what home is to her. Good writing to me is about more than sentence structure or being entertaining, I need to be inspired. Otherwise I am not likely to spend time on it. Caps writing truly inspires me and not because we share a last name. She is good, really good! Read her essay here.
After reading hers I began to ponder what home is to me and I hope you will do the same. If we never define the things that matter most sometimes we fail to honor those things in an intentional way. Since writing this my coffee table has taken on new life for me. I am grateful every single time I sit beside her. That is worth the pondering. I hope you enjoy.
Home is my coffee table. A recycled dining table never to be parted with. Feet resting on her edges, bringing memories of friends that donated salvaged beams for her crafting. They have both passed. Beaten up old cypress boasting nail holes and dented sides yet strong enough for dance moves and yoga poses, and so many feet propped up. Big enough for family meals, impromptu housing for platters of fried chicken, boxes of pizza, cups of steaming cappuccino, and wine glasses. Many wine glasses. She holds no perfect arrangements or books trying to convince anyone that we are anything. Remaining completely empty, space to be anything for anyone at any time.
How can a table be home? She is in the center of this structure we live in. She has seen many tears and more kisses. She is too heavy to be moved easily. But what my sweet table is for me is a certain symbol of these lives that surround it, a symbol of the love that is shared in words and actions across, beside, and around her. Sturdy beams as runners holding her up, much like my people hold me up, yet she represents not just I, she is all of us. Dented, beaten up, but sturdy and solid, stable with edges that have been worn down. Those edges worn from being hit too many times but insuring a nice place to rest the bottoms of feet, no pain that new edges tend to cause. Red wine rings that resisted being sanded away, proof that new glasses are still welcome.
With propped up feet I have watched my twelve-year old deaf son dance across wooden floors with better rhythm than any of his hearing brothers, thanks to vibration and cochlear implants. I have talked with my teenage son about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, praying that our constant dialog leads to partaking only in the ones that don’t destroy him. I have used her to plan trips, pay bills, pen letters, and type blog posts. I have sat on her edges with knees touching my husbands and eyes searching and always finding. Popcorn bowls often finding a home on her surface through binges of Breaking Bad and Lost, sometimes keeping the secret that we “cheated” on each other by watching an episode ahead.
I suppose home isn’t my beloved coffee table, it’s the people that she knows. Perhaps it’s the feelings we, the coffee table people, feel, the love that we share. The experiences we enjoy.
There was a time in my life when the thought of home led to childhood experiences, safety and comfort. Home is not safe anymore. My people love and know me yet there is another presence there. The elephant that says “one day you won’t have them. One day most of them will be gone. They will move away, make their own space, propping the feet that you love on another”. I hear those whispers of uncertainty and with my feet propped, my newly adult son beside me with his man bun and unshaven face, my husband across looking at his phone to see if he has a new friend request, and my young son playing video games. I don’t push those whispers away. I embrace them as a gift forcing me to focus on this moment. Home is this moment, this fleeting moment. There will come a day when home will be different but for now this is more than enough.
*Since I hope not to get emails about the "many glasses of wine". The many are for the many people we invite into our home to share a glass with. Not because I am a lush;)