I remember where we used to sit, a worn comfortable table that we never worried about spilling or scratching. Those spill and scratches, bumps and bruises only added to the tables warmth, its charm.
We started out across from each other, carefully bringing what we had to offer, setting it on the table. Explaining what we had to share. But pretty soon we scooted the two chairs next to each other, threw everything on to the same plate and ate right off of it. Together. I don’t even know when it happened. It just made sense at the time.
And in that sharing because it made good sense, my soul was fed. It was like our hearts came right out of our bodies to meet each other, recalibrate their rhythm and beat again, differently, better because of each other. My heartbeat as much my own as yours. We were doing this thing together. We were less alone in our struggles, less alone in our joys. I would tell people I had a tiny piece of the community I am sure is waiting for me eternally.
I don’t know who moved first. Honestly, I no longer care. I only know that we are no longer sitting next to each other, sharing, saving the best bites for each other. We have migrated away from the table. And in our worst moments we were across the room with our arms crossed and glaring. I may have even stomped my foot in frustration that you won’t see it my way.
We have since approached that worn table again. Uncrossed our arms from our chest so that our hearts may hear each other. We are sitting across from each other again, but on opposite ends of the table. Offering the things we know the other will need. Soon we will pull out the chairs and sit again. Perhaps you have already.
We are careful with each other. Thank you’s and pleases and are you sures, each taking what we need but keeping our portions small and polite. I miss the days of sitting next to each other, everything on the same plate. The simplicity of sharing everything, sure that there is more than enough to go around, sure that everyone will get their own best bites.
I can hear our hearts reaching for each other across the table and the awkward silences. Wishing to recalibrate once again. We inch to toward the seats we were once comfortable in, prints worn into the wood reminding us that the seats next to each other are where we belong. The plate is still there, between the two seats waiting for the offering of shared lives.
I am hopeful we will find our way back there, next to each other. That it will once again feel like one heart beating, one story told. My heart yearns for that once easy communion. The way it once was. The way it will be. Forever and ever. Amen.