Photo credit:  Mikaela Hamilton

Photo credit: Mikaela Hamilton

Last Summer, I bought a $40 picnic table off Craigslist from a small town north of Nashville. A couple weeks later, a co-worker of mine, who owns a tree removal service, let me take home a few sitting stumps.

Those tiny investments afforded the following months to be full of gatherings around the table, and memories I won't soon forget. At even the most thrown-together table, people still come and something like magic still happens. Strangers meet for the first time on opposite benches and end up talking and laughing for hours. Acquaintances sit beside each other and learn about where the other grew up, not cutting the conversation short when their glasses run out. Old friends wander up to the kitchen to help you gather more food and drink, sharing their last beer with you while they thank you for opening your porch. And when the night seems like it may be winding down, we all linger. Schedules don't seem as important and, all the sudden, this new magic that's unfolded around the tables does. The crickets even seem to be cheering the whole thing on. The full moon hangs, beaming, as it witnesses the sweetness of togetherness that happens beneath that rickety tin roof that extends over our back porch, at the $40 picnic table that may fall apart come June. That's the beauty of creating a space to gather: it's doing what you can with what you have and it somehow being enough.

As the days become more pleasantly breezy and the nights much warmer, I hope you'll make a space out back to gather with friends, new and old. And if you don't have a porch, I find a quilt in a public park works quite nice for these types of things, too. 

For fresh flavors, drinks and setting inspiration, check out our latest Common Table gathering "In Bloom" here