Monday, February 6, 2012

"For where two or three come together... my name, there am I with them.”
Matthew 18:20

Great memories are made when gathered around the table.  I TOTALLY believe this!  I love a table full of invited guests, a soft whisper of welcome that encourages the laughter capable of seeping into the heart’s natural barricades, loosening the mortar with each belly roll, beckoning us each to slow down, rest, relax with ourselves as much as each other and etch deeper into the memory banks. 

Great relationships are built this way, too. Gathered.

Among women, relationships, well they can be best built when gathered in the kitchen, surrounded by a mess bigger than the one that lives inside us.  Something happens when women cross into that space where meals are made instead of eaten.  What is this sacred ground?  Where connections are made simply because women hang aprons of service around their necks.   Something about the conversation coupled with the labor that bakes up grace among us.   

I don’t know how men do it – relationships.  It usually involves nature… something about the stillness of the woods and they build relationships in silence.  Seems men can have hour long conversations without uttering a single syllable. 

Women don’t work that way.  We need the words to see the heart.  The kitchen unites us.  Gives us common ground like it’s done for women across generations and cultures since the beginning of time.  Gives the soul a space to speak.  We sling joy and bend in humility as we open our hearts to the possibility that we need women, sisters in our lives.  When the cold floor hits our feet, it freezes the judgments and the comparisons and warms us to the idea that perfection is best left out altogether.  In fact seeking perfection in ourselves and expecting it in others is a recipe for disaster.  There is no space for expectations, only grace.

These moments in the kitchen are the tie that binds us in our womanhood, talking out our differences and glimpsing each other’s beauty, learning from each other, laughing through the trials of life, bearing each other’s burdens, finding a part of ourselves we aren’t afraid to unfold and knead a little, settling in to our true self through the acceptance found within this grace space.

There is just something about women gathered in the kitchen, either preparing the meal or cleaning up after it that births relationships fresh from nothing. It’s natural - maybe as natural as men sitting in the woods not saying a word.