Memories become attached to things within our living spaces. Although they’re inanimate objects, they can take on a life of their own because of the way they speak to us of our lives, personal history, family, and home.
If we’ve had them for years, perhaps, such objects can also speak to us of endurance and a kind of robust longevity that outlasts our changeable circumstances.
We have a dining table that’s been in the family for decades. It began life in the hands of my mother-in-law, who enjoyed using it before passing it on to our church for several years.
Eventually, the old oak table found its way back to the family. We were given it when we needed a dining table and had a large enough space to accommodate it.
Allow me to introduce you to a familiar daily object which we are inclined to take for granted, and give you a glimpse of why this particular table is precious to us.
The old oak table
Evening sun shines on the mellow oak of the table, mirroring its many years as a strong and sturdy tree, dappled by the heat of warming rays. Revealing its golden ochre heart, and the places where crumbs sit squashed deep within the crevices and cracks.
Darker lines show where staining has occurred. Swelling curves beneath provide a glimpse of rotund Victoriana legs. There are wobbly edges that creak like a see-saw whenever elbows lean on them.
These pieces of wood that make up the whole, this item of furniture, is a part of us. Our own family tree, our mess etched within its leaves. Imperfect but treasured. Passed on, used daily, often ignored, yet loved.
I tend to bump myself climbing into a chair to sit here and type. The sharp corners knocking at soft skin. Because it’s usually squashed against a wall, with the folds sitting idle.
The two of us don’t take up as much space now or require the extension in the normal run of things, so opening it up feels like a special occasion of sorts. But I value its heft, the weightiness of wood, and the history it evokes.
I appreciate the meals we get to savour here. I like remembering when there were four of us and I used to be strong and able enough to be the family cook. Though it’s a rare, distant memory now.
We pile paperwork on it. Packages and parcels sit there, waiting to be opened, and pens get lost under the mound of stuff. It’s been used as a dumping ground for ephemera for years, then hastily cleared to set when we need to eat.
Objects like this take up physical space, and they also take up real estate within our hearts. Our faithful oak friend has followed us to the new home we moved into a year ago. It fits perfectly, if snugly, into the available space.
The etched surface still catches the sun’s dying rays, which makes mealtimes another reason for thanks and praise. Its sturdiness remains a great reminder of my faith and how I want it to remain: Bathed in Holy Light. Solid and Enduring. Rooted deep in Christ.
And it reminds me how you and I are like trees, flourishing in the courts of our God. Even as we age and alter with the years, our leaves do not wither when we draw our soul refreshment from Him.
“The righteous will flourish like the date palm [long-lived, upright and useful]; They will grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic and stable]. Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God. [Growing in grace] they will still thrive and bear fruit and prosper in old age; They will flourish and be [a]vital and fresh [rich in trust and love and contentment];” — Psalm 92:12-14 AMP
Which everyday items in your home are sentimentally important to you? Let’s seek to celebrate and appreciate the joys and graces of the holy ordinary this month. Xx 🙂 ❤