One of my favorite moments in all of the wedding weekend was a particular slice of time at the rehearsal dinner. I sat there in a gorgeous white silk dress from BHLDN and - between prayers that I didn't spill wild rice pilaf in my lap - I happened to look down the middle of our two family-style tables to see dozens of faces radiating with celebration. It was a chaotic mix of our worlds - Luke's and mine. My grandmother next to his friends with tattoo sleeves, aunts and uncles next to dear ones from another life and time.
If I could bottle up that moment and let it out at every dinner party I host, every quiet supper just the two of us, every McDonald's 3 AM run with friends - it would be magical. The table brings out something spectacularly transcendent, doesn't it? It is a blinding agent to all our differences as we pass the sweet-potato casserole or the order of large fries. Sure, I've also witnessed some rather unfortunate things at the dinner table. But as a whole, its presence in my life stands like a monument to the best times.
There are a few things in life that give me a paralyzing panic - and oddly enough community is one of them. In the midst of this wonderful, sharing, openness you find yourself vulnerable. It is something that I've wrestled with since childhood - a shyness that absolutely shuts me down. Now as an adult, I find myself simultaneously having an unquenchable desire to create warm gathering around me and a gut reflex to hide from it.
But come around my table. Gather there while I - instead - hide behind chopping tomatoes. Let my exuberant husband show you the new board game he'd like us all to play and soon he'll get the room telling stories and doubling over laughing. Don't be surprised if I busy myself on the other side of the counter but rest assured my heart is soaring.