It has held in its hands the hearts of farmers and families from around the world.
We have a solid wood door that opens not just into a beautiful yard – but to the world. Perhaps it should be a revolving door – with the number of friends from around the globe that pass through it. Perhaps it should be a glass door – so we can see out to the world while our guest peak in. But it is a wood door, solid, made from the earth, old and oiled – warm and welcoming.
Inside is an equally heavy wood table. Made of golden teak from ancient ox carts it is more than just sturdy and unique. It comes with its own history of taking farmers goods on the narrow trails through Myanmar (Burma). The top is the floor of the cart, the legs are the frame, the chairs made from spokes. It is heavy, scarred and perfect in its inperfection. Once exposed to the elements of the world it is now safely housed in a log house – tended to as the piece of history that it is.
What did the farmer haul on this cart – now a table – and for how many years? In its pores and woody grains is a century of history and surely it carried generations, their food, their friends and their hopes for the future. Surely the generations of family who owned it – greived its loss- and cherished its memory. Certainly it was an investment critical to them and their survival. Did it escape conflict or is it here because of it? What could that table tell me now?
The table dominates the room but is never loud – it listens – quiety absorbing the conversation it hears over its somewhat sagging top. As new and old friends drop by from around the world and share their stories the global table becomes the stage for the exchange of ideas, for hopes, dreams, technologies, startegies, theory, family stories, laughter and quiet tears. It has held in its hands the hearts of farmers and families from around the world. More than a centerpiece, it is our centre.
The 13th century poet Rumi wrote “Whereever you stand, be the soul of that place.” I think of the steadfastness and beauty of my table and then I challenge myself as host, as human – to be the soul of this place. We start with an invitation to come to the door and to come in and sit at the table – as humble as it may appear. For it is a global table who is wise and does not discriminate, judge, argue or ignore. All are welcome, fed the foods of our labor, encouraged, respected and refreshed for their journey. All are now part of our history and remembered in the dark wood of the table and in the grateful heart of the host.
Photo credit: http://travelphotos.alittleadrift.com