A MAGICAL EVENING
We came together intentionally, to share the bounty of our harvest, our creativity, our enthusiasm to be part of this team, this Meet and Eat group that gathers to be with one another several times a year at one another’s homes.
Our hosts for the evening were gracious, warm, and welcoming. We all brought food to share. For me, who usually spends Saturday nights alone, eating alone, watching the TV instead of in conversation with interesting people, it was magical.
First Edie invited us to pick blackberries from her garden, providing baskets and a helping hand as we climbed a narrow pathway to the area where the blackberries were ready to harvest. We passed by the chickens, the squashes, the herb garden, the ripening peppers, and the greens growing under a ground cover canopy that kept away the insects eager to eat the greens at this time in the season. We laughed and talked as we enjoyed this primal pleasure of gathering in the harvest.
Next we shared some of her recent harvest-ripe cherry tomatoes, red peppers, and a delicious cucumber/buttermilk/yogurt/dill and garlic gomachio soup. What a treat, along with red pepper hummus, a variety of chips and crackers, and wine or herbal tea. We shared these delights with gratitude to be together, enjoying the smell of the baked salmon awaiting us. When it was time to share the dinner we’d all contributed to, we gathered, holding hands, and Pam offered our blessing to be here celebrating this abundance with one another. The fires were still creating a smoky sky, so we gladly dined inside, for the night was hot and sultry. From their lovely well lit home we could see all over the valley from one window, and across a distant ridge from the kitchen window. It was magical and so welcome to this one who longs for such vistas and connection with the natural world as well as great people to share with.
The evening unfolded easily, for we had all contributed what we could to make this a special night. It was fun to share with familiar folks and delightful new guests, too. Some of us have common roots, born or currently living in the Sacramento/Sierra Nevada area of California. The kind woman to my left also had a dad MIA at her birth; he was found six months after Pearl Harbor in a tiny island that had lost communication with the rest of the country. My dad was MIA over Italy, and no traces were ever found. We were like long lost cousins, meeting one another for the first time.
It is magical to feel a sense of belonging, part of community that shares common aspirations, common ground. We are truly not meant to grow old in our isolated dwellings, cut off from one another. We do need to find ways to keep on connecting, growing, and being there for one another. It was an enchanted evening to be together, and I am grateful to have been included in it!
No one brought a camera, so I have no photos from this gathering. I shall share instead a couple that fit in with the evenings theme of honoring the beauty of the food and landscape around us this time of summer.