If I had to pick one item of furniture to symbolize my upbringing, it would be the family dining table.
There is something incredibly equalizing and intimate about breaking bread with someone else. It’s not just that every person gets enough vitamins and minerals to sustain his or her body for a day. A shared meal creates a union through shared experience and mutual emotional and physical participation. It is no wonder that so many first dates involve a couple going out for dinner. There is an implicit understanding that eating together is an invitation to another person to come closer, to connect more deeply.
There is something so humanizing about sitting across a table from another person, having to ask someone to please pass the salt and wondering aloud if dessert will be fruit or cookies. In those moments, very little is required in order to feel as if one belongs to the community.
This message is adapted from “A table for Saints” written by Susan Schneider that first appeared in the February 2010 issue of Café magazine.