Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TABLE TALK

My index finger catches in a deep groove, and I unconsciously move it back and forth. The dark wooden surface is pitted with scratches and marks from a good long life. It is a sensible circular table with all sorts of character running down its plain legs.
“Over one hundred years old.”
A kindly lady approaches eager to answer my questions.
“Imagine that.”
It’s a remarkable antique being sold for fifty- five dollars at a rural church yard sale along with an assortment of discarded wares piled neatly in rows like the delightful sweets in a candy box.
A rush of sadness comes over me. The conversations that were shared around the table are all but whispers in the wind now. Maybe if I put my ear to the oak I will hear the voices of the past.
Could I be feeling the laughter and giggling from young girls fresh with new love affairs peering nervously at each other under watchful parental eyes placed at varying points around the table? Reverently in hushed silence neighborhood women laid out funeral dinners on the table covered by a deathly order of Irish linen tablecloths brought out for the occasions.
What milestones were celebrated at the table? Could it have been the son returning from the war in the Pacific in the forties? A new baby? Company from a far?
I can’t even fathom the thousands of plain ordinary meals that were partaken at the table that left no lasting impression.
It is more than obvious that I must buy this table, and in the years to follow, I will become a part of the table conversation.