Last weekend we were in my hometown of San Francisco. On Sunday, we went to the Ferry Building for lunch. After our grilled cheese sandwiches from Cowgirl Creamery, John headed to the bookstore and I drifted to the Glassybaby shop. You know what’s coming. I added a subtle persimmon-colored votive candleholder to my collection.
This one–Gather Close–seemed particularly appropriate since we had just been with family and friends for the week and I was getting ready to go my college reunion. My new candle was going with me.
As you read this, I will have just spent three days communing with people I have known for almost 60 years. Yikes! My 55th college reunion called many of us back to our alma mater. And what a joy it was; and how poignant it was; and how fun and inspiring. The “all of it.”
The main focus of the reunion was the people. And conversation. Our Class Party was set up to foster interaction. Rather than having a sit down dinner with assigned seating, we had food stations and high tables so people would be encouraged to move and mingle–we did.
Conversations ranged from the topic of our Friday afternoon panel– how to stay positive, engaged, healthy, happy as we get older –to gratitude for being alive to family to travel to work to interests to “what’s next.”
Saturday morning’s event was a traditional Women’s Coffee where conversations continued. This time, new topics arose…how to deal with loss, the importance of connection with others, yoga and meditation practices, favorite restaurants in the Bay Area, and how to care for cactus!
Throughout all these gatherings, though the food was fine, it was the people who brought “joy to the table.” People I have known and loved over so many years…people whose lives and hearts have touched me.
Alice Waters once said something that seemed to hit the mark about my last few weeks–“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.” Yes!