Hello, and welcome! I am so glad you are here. What is the Comfort Table you may ask?
The Comfort Table is any place that makes you feel at home. Safe. At ease and relaxed. When you arrive there, you take a deep breath and exhale fully. You are finally with your people. Among these people, you do not feel judged or analyzed. You can show up in sweats and no one thinks you need an intervention. You may or may not have lots in common with these people. But there is always one thing that binds you. And that is the Comfort Table.
My first Comfort Table was Lake Michigan. My summers as a child were spent playing in the sand for HOURS. We would bury the hose, create “drip” sandcastles, never get out of our bathing suits all day. We would eat watermelon and peaches and blueberries from the corner market. There wasn’t a television so we had to find our own entertainment. Books, board games and days and days of card games. I have seen more sunsets in the exact same location for about 25 years. (And yes, that photo is really Grand Haven and sunsets really do look like that–they rival any sunset I’ve seen on a tropical island any day). It was my sanctuary. After college I moved around a lot, even out of the country for a while, but when I would return home I would barely say hello to my parents before running out to the front deck to smell the lake. There is truly nothing like it. It is fresh and rejuvenating. The cool breeze ruffling the beach grass. The sea gulls squawking overhead. Waves crashing methodically saying You are home.
Moving away from home is fun! Exciting! An adventure! You get to discover who you are! But for the first time, you realize how much home really means to you. Oh, you are ready for the adventure (maybe some more than others), but you suddenly get a nasty cold and you just want your mom and no one else knows what movies you like to watch when you don’t feel good. She knows when you’re lying, saying you feel a bit better and that, No young lady, get back in bed you are still very sick. Your roommate is kind enough to grab a can of soup on the way home but it’s the wrong brand! My mom doesn’t get that kind! She gets the kind that has the noodles, not the rice, I hate the rice! Or it’s your birthday and your best friend forgets to call because she had a date with “that new guy” or she’s been swamped at work. Suddenly you are forced to create little bits of your own home away from home. That was the part of becoming an adult that I didn’t know about.
This an exploration of all the places that I have found my Comfort Table since leaving home. See, here’s the ironic part. Lake Michigan isn’t where I went to school and did most of my growing up. But it is the one very concrete place that I felt my soul rest and relax. It is because of the people and experiences I had there that I felt it necessary to seek out my own since leaving there. I am deeply thankful my parents are still there so I can visit. But, should they ever leave I have learned that I can, in many little ways, recreate that feeling of comfort. Would you like to join me? Pull up a chair and let’s enjoy some coffee at the Comfort Table together, shall we?