Years ago, after moving into a new (old) house, we bought our dining room table because it was the right price.
I would have liked something a little more on-trend—often, I still do—but at the time we were going for cheap over chic.
And now that it’s seen well over a decade of life, not only does it lack style, but it’s marked with scratches and stains and has a slight droop on one end.
But this table has witnessed so much. Really, the life of our family is ingrained in it.
And if this table could talk, I imagine the stories it would tell.
It would tell of quiet meals before babies came along. It would tell of those babies being passed back and forth while we parents ate one at a time. It would tell of toddlers’ poor, yet endearing, manners.
It would tell of babies becoming children. Of messes driving a mother crazy, and children delighting in them. Glitter. Glue. Marker. Paint. Of small hands smearing messy joy its surface, and laughter accompanying it.
It would tell of babies who never made it to the table. A pregnant mother stating matter-of-factly that something is wrong. Of sorrow and countless meals shadowed in grief.
It would tell of friends and family.
Of love. And loneliness.
Of hard conversations.
Of tears and laughter.
Of empty seats, yet strangely full hearts.
Of joy and chaos.
Of grief and gratitude.
Of tension and comfort.
Of arguments and apologies.
Of prayer and more prayer.
Of shadows and sunlight. Darkness and light. Life and death.
It would tell of emptying out and filling up and mistakes made and messes cleaned up.
It would tell of small hands learning. And big hands clasping. And all hands giving. Because everyone brings something to the table.
It would tell of how, really, it holds the heart of the entire household.
If this table could talk it would tell of real, beautiful, messy, hard life. But I suppose it doesn’t have to. Because I can see it all right there in front of me. in the scratches and stains, the wear and tear.
Maybe I don’t need a prettier table.
Maybe I just need to appreciate the life that’s been and is being lived around THIS table.
Because even though it’s not the shiniest or most spectacular one, it’s more beautiful than I could have imagined all those years ago.