But my aging table has become more of a shrine these days. Oh yes, it gets regular workouts when the family tide is in. But it no longer keeps long hours doing homework, all night sewing marathons, holding table service clutter dawn to dusk, and an endless string of holiday projects. It has become, rather, a place hallowed by its history. A sea of calm, a waiting platform, a holding station.
And since Sunday dinners have very long ceased to cater to a restless row of mostly boys in rumpled white shirts fresh from church, the table now seems to beg to stage a few relics on its top on its new days of rest. Maybe a favorite place setting. Or something fresh, cheery, and charming at its center.
As these old planks may hold the center of our home together for some time to come, the top is plainly deserving of more attention, and of wearing a bit of lavish this and that while it takes its leisure between duties. I think I may have to take a little more care, to offer an occasional gesture of praise, and to light a candle or two. To always keep a lovely mantle laid over this altar at the heart of my life.