I’ve always wanted one of those country kitchens that are the heart of the home, such as my Grams had in the home I grew up in but with our main entry point to the house being through the kitchen door, it’s always felt more like a train station with people coming and going through it.
Yesterday, as I drove through frighteningly heavy rain and navigated the congestion of home time traffic on my way to the bus stop to pick up the youngest girlie home from boarding school for the long weekend, my mind turned to the events of the day…
The friend who had just spent three hours at the kitchen table with me, alternating between tears and gulps of coffee as she poured her heart out to me about her most recent fight with her boyfriend; the eldest daughter who took her place after she left and shared her thoughts, fears and hopes for her future as she tries to find a job after having recently moved back home. Rewind to the night before when I’d been busy in the kitchen and my man returned home earlier than expected. Wearily he collapsed onto a chair at the kitchen table and over the mug of coffee I made him, recounted his day to me while I bustled about the kitchen finishing off dinner.
And then all the times over the past days, weeks and months started to slip into focus as I shifted between second and third gears and wound my way along with the rest of humanity on the slick, rain darkened roads.
…Our middle daughter and her boyfriend who had popped in for a quick visit but never got further than the kitchen and ending up spending over an hour chatting with the man and I over such topics as ‘When is the right time to get married, have a baby, buy a house’. I remember feeling an extreme sense of gratitude that they should not only come to us over such things but that they felt at ease discussing them with us too…
…Our youngest daughter hovering behind her Dad (she has far too much energy to actually sit down) itching to get her hands on his new cellphone that he was fiddling with and trying very hard to employ diplomacy and tact in trying to explain the wonders and virtues of a device that at the time, was a mystery to him…or the same bright-eyed girl regaling us with anecdotes of her new High School, mature enough in just a few weeks there that as much as she admitted to being homesick at times, she was loving every minute of it and so excited for how the experience was already shaping her future.
And then, as yet another taxi cut into the safe following distance I’d left between myself and the truck in front of me to allow for the space needed to brake on drenched roads without aquaplaning or putting my car up his butt…it hit me:
Without my even having been aware of it, over the past year or so, my kitchen has indeed, become the heart of my home. It is there that people first arrive into our home, often never getting much further for they drop down into a chair, their lives touching ours as we share coffee and conversation. The area itself isn’t big or very spectacular, but it is filled with love, laughter and compassion and more often than not, overlaid by the scent of brewing coffee and biscuits baking in the oven.
Over the sound of horns honking in irritation and the rain beating down on the roof of the car, I am almost positive that I could hear my Gram’s chuckling softly in the background.