company for lunch

by bam

it certainly wasn’t fancy, and it certainly wasn’t planned. it just so happened that somewhere ’round the middle of the day, the two of us happened to be home, and we happened to be hungry.
he sat with his mac-n-cheese. i sat with my cottage cheese on toast. and on an ordinary monday, with no one else around, we sat and finished thoughts.
for two whose lives, from dawn till dinner time, are normally so distant, so very far apart, this was nothing short of revolutionary. nothing short of sweet.
and for one–that’s me–who spends long spans seeing not another soul, save for the mailman, the meter reader, and maybe someone come to patch the house, the blessed communion of breaking bread with the father of my children was wholly nourishing.
truth is, most days, i relish the long hours of time alone. it is a blessing earned, i tell you. no chasing toddler. no big bird and friends squawking in the background.
it is so quiet here i can hear the clock tick. i can, from 9 to 3, put something down and find it hours later. i think that i’m still letting out a sigh from finally being alone. all the years and years and years of not a minute to myself.
not so long ago, it seems, i was stingy with my hours. if i sniffed a fraction of a quarter hour in which the house was mine, i all but barred the doors.
but now i’m not so stingy. i needn’t cling to seconds unattended. the tide of life has flowed my way, released me from the sound of footsteps always at my side.
and so i found the softness of the typing in the other room a perfect pairing to my own. heard the whistling of the teapot and welcomed its shrill drowning of the tick and tock.
if a year unfolds in seasons, so too does marriage. there’s been a changing of the colors in our leaves, it almost seems. i’d call it golden tinged with crimson.
we’ve borne enough, been around so many bends, we know each other from nearly every angle. and through and through and through. and still i find the man i married the truest soul i might have ever known. i would not be whole without the women of my life, some of whom are the sisters of my deepest heart, the very breath of life itself. but there is a man, one man, who sees and speaks so clearly, he is my beacon in the fog. and, besides, he makes me laugh.
by blessed accident of nature, or by flat-out divine design, we’ve got a little one just cobbling three-word paragraphs, while the children of our friends are penning college essays. but in just another year, we’ve got one who will be learning how to drive. so it’s not so out of sight to realize these here are the years to seize.
as we scrambled in the kitchen, he to grab his macaroni from the little box that zaps it, me to peel an orange and rinse some berries, it dawned on me that this interlude, this time alone, this time of sharing a holy hour, was a marker along a trail.
take time, i heard a whisper urge. don’t let it slip away.
oh, if every day and not so long between, we could find a way to push back all the expectations that pull us far apart. and hold, as if some golden syrup, the sacred moments that, one upon another, drip, drip,drip to fill the vessel of our life. we’ve not a clue how vast this cup. and all i know is company for lunch, simple as it was, left a sweetness in my soul and a hunger i should sate.
take time, i heard a whisper urge. don’t let it slip away.

it needn’t be a mate who comes for lunch. it might be a stranger even. the point is pausing, rearranging the day to allow for someone’s thoughts and heart to flow across your table. even a monday, it seems, can be the start of something far beyond the mad dash toward the weekend. interrupt your regularly scheduled programming. turn up the teakettle. invite someone you dearly deeply love. or someone altogether unknown. a tuesday, too, might be a fine day to do the same. have you had, of late, the unexpected company of someone who made an ordinary lunch into a feast you won’t forget?