Photo by Fabio Bruna, discovered on Small Notebook.

I’m dreaming of a dining room table.  Yes, I know we sold ours last year at a garage sale, after it had been sitting in the garage for months, but still.  Things were different last summer.  Eric and I were two singles in a relationship, sharing a home and hunting for solo space in our sweet but cramped bungalow.  Okay, I’ll admit it: I was the one hunting for solo space.  Clinging to my autonomy and independence. Not realizing what a blessed, lovely relief it is to set down that mantle and officially say yes to togetherness, to shared space both inner and outer.  To become a family.

Now I’m dreaming of gathering up, of coming together at the start and end of the day.  Eating Sloppy Joe’s by candlelight and basking in the warm California late summer breeze coming through French doors.  Sewing in the late morning light while tiny feet tuck up underneath curious leaning little bodies, watching the needle go up and down.  Game night with friends and neighbors laughing as the storm rages romantically outside.  Black lab happily laying underneath, snatching up dropped crumbs and keeping dangling feet warm.

Maybe it’s the bitter cold outside, the long distance from my beloved and loved ones, the lone nature of the job I’m on right now – don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it in its own way.  But tonight I feel so warm when I think about a simple dining room table, and how to reclaim this gathering place, this hub of family life once I get home.

What’s your favorite way to gather up?