I Know Where the Magic Happens

kitchen tableI love my living room. It’s bright and beautiful, and every single item in it was carefully chosen (or made) by me. And yet I spend very little time in there.

My most memorable moments in the last year have taken place at my kitchen table.

There are only four chairs around the table, and my daughter and her best friend spilled bright yellow paint on the lovely fabric that covers them – and that’s not even the worst of the damage they’ve endured. When more than the four of us gather, we pull over the white wooden chair from my desk or the folding chair I accidentally stole from a neighbor. A stack of milk crates has even served as extra seating once or twice. My kitchen table is not, in other words, the most comfortable place in my home.

But for some reason, it’s where we connect.

When Faiqa and her husband stopped by and we finally got to chat face-to-face after 18 months of being in different states, we sat at the table.

When Carly came over for dessert after yoga and we talked until long after we probably both should have been in bed, we sat at the table.

When Devin brought home a disappointing report card and we hacked out a plan for making up and moving on, we sat at the table.

Despite better décor and more time and money spent on other parts of the home, it seems everyone instinctively knows that the place where we meet is in our kitchen, around that 1950s table.

In our last house, it was the kitchen island. In the house before that, it was our back patio. The house before that, our first house, never really had a gathering spot – perhaps that’s why we never really fell in love with that place.

At our neighbor’s house, the spot seems to be their front porch – at least in the summer.

In my parents’ house when I was growing up, their kitchen table had the same pull. There were only three chairs and it was nestled in the corner of the kitchen. Around the corner was a full-sized dining room table in a full-sized dining room, and a living room was just a few steps further away. But we always crowded in the kitchen to share our stories and solve the problems of the world. Whether there were two of us or ten, we were drawn to that point of connection.

I wonder if those spots possess some kind of magic. Maybe there’s some kind of chi or something that people are attracted to, some kind of vibration that says “come here to get what you need.” I don’t know what makes the spot the spot, but I do know that everyone who comes into our home seems to instinctively head there.

And I know that the look of the spot doesn’t matter. Neither does the size or the comfort. No, what draws us there, I can’t say, but what keeps us there for hours is clear: the power of connection.

I know there’s magic in that.

Where do people gather to connect in your home?

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Comments

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  1. Lisa says:

    I never thought about it before, but this house doesn’t have a set gathering place. If I’m cooking then everyone fathers around the kitchen table, even though we will eat at the big table if there are more than 4 of us. I love to have my morning coffee in the living room with the big windows and all the light, but we relax in the family room or on the patio. I guess if I had to choose it would be the kitchen table, or the patio. But it seems to happen everywhere in this house, and I love that.
    Lisa’s most recent post: This Isn’t Pink Floyd’s Wall

  2. Theresa says:

    Our gathering spot is also the kitchen table. We have a farily small kitchen so we only have 4 chairs around the table. When we have guests we bring in our 2 lamp tables from the living room & they serve as extra chairs. No one ever mind sitting on them & since it is not typical my kiddos always thinks it means a celebration!
    Theresa’s most recent post: expectations.

  3. Megan says:

    My back porch. Everyone ends up there on Thanksgiving.
    Megan’s most recent post: Fifty-Two, Week 50: Fear & Anxiety

  4. People gather in my front yard…usually with pitchforks and torches!
    Father Muskrat’s most recent post: May 2013

  5. Faiqa says:

    The kitchen island. The Romans used to keep a fire burning in their kitchen for the goddess of the hearth & home, Vesta. I think the goddess still wields her power by having us congregate there. :)

  6. Nanna says:

    I love that you remember the times at the kitchen table. I love that you have “that spot” too. I think that you have a spot at all is telling.
    Nanna’s most recent post: Beauty From Ashes

  7. Joy says:

    I *love* this and once you know where the magic happens you don’t have to “do anything” you simply gather and it unfolds.

    I lived on a boat with my children and we took the table out to have lots of room to sit and stretch; now we live in a home, with no dining table, but lots of room to sit and stretch. I try to have comfortable seating, candles and fresh air, and this is where people gather; the setting for *magic*.
    Joy’s most recent post: A Practice of Presence to Fear

  8. I wish my kitchen had room for a little table in it. But it does not. So the bedroom is where my kids and I have our chats, I haven’t made but one friend since we moved here and we’ve not connected enough to have her over. But i do remember many good times gathered in my moms kitchen as I was growing up, people would come for dinner or couseling (my dad was a pastor) and they would always end up at the little kitchen table with coffee or iced tea and lots of good conversation.

  9. Akirah says:

    :) This doesn’t necessarily happen in our home, but rather in our business, which is located below our home. We own a restaurant, so many times when I walk inside, I hear the sound of conversations, laughter, music and happiness. It’s a wonderful feeling, to be a part of the place containing all that joy. It definitely feels magical.
    Akirah’s most recent post: Getting Inside the Arena (+ a Giveaway!)

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