Thanksgiving setting and place cards by our granddaughter

Thanksgiving table with setting and place cards by our granddaughter

Long before we found it I imagine it was a grand table with leaves that held many meals and absorbed countless conversations. By the time we found it, only the round ends remained. A craftsman had coupled them into a circle and attached a central post with legs salvaged from another once proud piece of furniture. We discovered it in the dim light on the upper floor of a used furnishings store in New Haven, our first purchase as a married couple 48+ years ago.

For several decades the round table was at the hub of our family. In high chairs and captain’s chairs we sat around it eating our meals and playing our games. It always seemed spacious enough to accommodate visitors while sufficiently intimate for discourse and sharing. The polished wood stood firm as our numbers and bodies grew, holding our talk, bouncing our laughter back at us and reverberating with our music.

Retired a few yeas ago for a table with leaves, it was dismantled and relegated once again to storage in a dark upper room.

Last week we resurrected it. Our older son transported it to his sister’s home near New Haven. Our younger son helped in reassembling it. Once again it became our family centerpiece, as all but one of us gathered round it for Thanksgiving. Added to the circle, our granddaughter set the table and created name cards from the holly bush outside. Unable to be with us in person, our younger daughter sent place settings of china she had claimed from my parents’ home after they passed; she too and they were with us.

The round table returns to serve the next generation. One hoop closes and the next opens to begin the arc that someday no doubt will come around again.