The Kitchen Table

Sister Laurentia Carroll OP

Our table in the kitchen 

is made of wood.

And where the chairs have hit the sides 

a mark is there.

A reminder of the people

who have shared a meal or chat with us.

So, more a mark of friendship in the wood,

a reminder of absent friends and memories shared.

The legs are strong and sturdy like great oak trees.

Holding, like an offering, the gift of food and friendship

to nurture soul and body as we share the gifts of earth

with family and friends.

Placed on the table are the tools for the eating.

(‘Don’t eat with your fingers’ I hear being said!)

Yet frail fingers have 

tilled the earth and held and stroked

the crying child in all of us.

Frail fingers, which with pen and plough,

wheel and knife, spade and brush

complete the Creator’s plan to

“Make all things new”.

The table top,

where bowls and dishes

hold the fruits of labour and of love,

the recipes of men and women

who capture in a meal the riches of the earth

and who with spices, sauces, fruits and feelings

serve to those they love a tribute,

a blessing and a gift

to nurture life within.

The table,

the centre of the family’s universe!

The meeting place of all the world within

the sacredness of family.

The silent witness to joys and sorrows.

The centre point of laughter, anger,

silent pain and cares.

The table,

the place of offering,

where each one present opens their soul

to the sanctity of this sacred place –

offers their thoughts and dreams and hopes

on the altar of acceptance and belonging.

The kitchen table.

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