Embers filled with powerful warmth. Burning without flames, bringing us closer together as we all try to find shelter from the enduring chill.
Human beings have always built communities, and often the strongest communities are those that remain close, that help one another, that gather around tables cooking meals that sustain and nourish. If we look into the furthest corners of the Earth we still see this in most of the world.
We know what it is to gather apples in an orchard, but the western world can at times forget what it is to gather around a table, or within a home. We have in a way become afraid of one another rather than intrigued and empowered. We view each other as strangers even though our cells, our very being is made up of atoms that were once shared somewhere in this universe.
There is a word, Ubuntu, that comes from South Africa. The meaning of this word is varied and the translations are many. Because as with all words it is only given power by humans who perceive and define it. But the core of Ubuntu, the nature of the word basically translates to, “I am because you are.” An incredible reminder of how within our individuality we are connected in a way we cannot always see but we can feel within us.
If you close your eyes and reach out and you feel hands gently hold yours, this feeling becomes overwhelming. Skin to skin we realize our sameness and our inarguable connection to one another.
Hospitality, gathering, it can often seem frivolous in nature. When so much is happening in the world, when the Earth is begging to be taken care of, when injustice is rampant, when children are starving from famine and do not have access to basic human care… the thought of having a dinner party can seem dismal.
And yet, people have to eat.
We have to, it’s a basic means of survival.
We also need to gather.
A Dinner party in the woods filled with beauty that is unforgettable could foster connections between people that could change the world. Gathering inspires conversation, it inspires coming together, it can reignite the fire of someone’s soul.
There is nothing like giving back, and unfortunately a dinner party will not erase the horrors of the world. But if you host a gathering with intention, if you invite new faces and cook dishes inspired by the many heritages around your table, your frivolous gathering could be the start of walls coming down, the beginning of building an active community that desires to run into the sun together. To embrace the light, to stand together in the face of an unjust world.
When we gather, we become unbreakable.
– Photo credit: +Simple