Perhaps the World Ends Here
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what,
we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table so it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe
at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what
it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms
around our children. They laugh with us at our poor
falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back
together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella
in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place
to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate
the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared
our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.
I started this blog to capture the alchemy of the table and to re-connect what we eat with where we live. Re-connecting the food we eat with our community and the backdrop of our lives (whether it’s the vastness of an inland sea or the electric heartbeat of a cityscape) is a good start towards bringing contentment and balance into lives that are full of the messy and brilliant business of living. It doesn’t need to be a precious manifesto; it just needs to be authentic and ‘real’. Real enough to admit not every day is about locally sourced vegetables and homemade puff pastry but there are moments of wonder, awe, gratitude and connection that live amidst and within us.
My home is in Bayfield, Wisconsin— a town of 400 people on the shores of Lake Superior. We moved our family of five kids and four dogs (actually I bought George, our handsome yellow Lab,after we moved) to Bayfield in 2007 to open a restaurant and live our lives against the backdrop of Lake Superior, waterfalls, beaches and a quintessential small town. I quickly learned restaurant ownership doesn’t mix well with five kids, four dogs, a 10 o’clock bedtime, reading, gardening or cooking for my friends and family. In 2012, I sold my interest in the restaurant to my business partner and set out to re-discover my own table in my kitchen. I’ve learned there isn’t an ‘it’ in our lives, there is only what’s next and these recipes, photos and essays are my way markers on a spectacular journey.