Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day Around the Table

Many families gather around the table on Mother's Day. Don't limit that special time to just holidays. As a mother of two, there's no place I'd rather be with my peeps than at our table. This is an essay I wrote to be included in my book, Around the Southern Table. It didn't end up in the pages of the book, but it rings true to this day. Honor the table, the mothers that make it wonderful, and all those that gather around it.

My Southern Table

Being welcomed at the table is nothing short of receiving a special gift. It’s a package filled with soothing assurance that you are not alone. It is not simply a piece of furniture made to support a plate and a glass; it is furniture that serves its owners in countless and amazing ways.
    Like so many others, my home is not determined by an address; my home is where those I love gather around the table. The location and the table aren’t always the same, but those that surround it are always family. In times of great celebration, quite reflection or deep loss, the table is forever in the center.
    Much of my life has been marked by unforgettable moments around the table. It was at the table where I tasted my very first tomato sandwich. I ate breakfast at the table while watching the Challenger liftoff and disintegrate into the sky. Years later I slipped my left hand across the shiny oak top to show my grandmother my engagement ring. In that exact same place at the table, my place, I was overcome by the sea of endless food delivered when she passed away. We gathered our parents around the table on a frigid January evening to share the news that their first grandbaby was on the way.
    While sitting down to a bushel of roasted oysters, I was ecstatic to tell my family I was writing my long-awaited third book. I swaddled our brand new baby girl in a bright pink basket on our table the first day we came home from the hospital. We added leaves and pulled up chairs for the biggest brunch I could cook after each of our children was baptized.  Hours after the death of my father-in-law, I sat alone at our table in the middle of the night and cried until no more tears would come. While sitting on his tiny knees at the table, my son said the blessing all by himself for the first time.
    It is at the table where I have grown-up, loved, laughed, prayed, celebrated and experienced so many of the defining moments in my life. This long relationship does not make me unique. Most Southerners could tell a very similar story about the table where they sit to dine each day. The Southern table does not just fill a room or a corner; it fills our very lives and enriches our souls.

Copyright (c) 2014 Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC. All rights reserved.


The Southern Sideboard said...

Beautiful! I recently inherited my Grandmother's dining room table, which was the table I grew up with, and you could not have captured my feelings more. Around The Southern Table is one of my favorite books. In fact, I am about to embark on a mission to learn how to cook bread based on the recipes in your book. Wish me luck !

Rebecca Lang said...

Thanks so much for your sweet words! Please let me know how the bread mission goes!

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Good Morning, dear Rebecca...and greetings from Maine! My friend, Jazzmin, shared your lovely essay on her blog this morning...with a link to your' I just had to stop by for a visit! What a lovely homey, so comforting!
I wanted to share with you what I wrote on Jazzmin's blog...

Our kitchen table is the center of our home...everyone who comes to visit sits down there...sometimes simply to chat and have a "mug up" (cup of hot coffee on a chilly Maine morning) and whatever "goodie" I've happened to bake that day...sometimes to discuss something pressing deeply on the heartstrings...most times, just to share the blessings of food, family, friends, and fellowship.

My mother-in-law passed away about 15 years ago...and I wrote a poem about her "kitchen table" which I shared at her funeral. She was such a beautiful deeply in love with our Lord. Each afternoon we would visit her...and sit at this table...and look out over the harbor at the fishing boats. We would talk about anything and everything...and she would make homemade raisin toast and tea.
I miss her so...and can't wait to be with her again.

Which reminds me of another special table...waiting for us. What an incredible banquet this will be. Perhaps the love around our "kitchen tables" is just a glimpse of the "feast" we have to look forward to...

I also look forward to stopping by your "place" again...thank you for letting me visit!
Sweet blessings,