My recent, loss and several moves shattered my sense of certainty. In the past months I am on the path re-construction; emotionally and spiritually.
Recently, I travelled to my hometown, Budapest Hungary. It was a life changing experience. Every return home life-events changed me. Returning home especially visiting family after 6 years of absence altered my perceptions about time and relationships. It was not so much sightseeing and concerts though we did those things, it was sitting at the table with family that evoked longing in me as we draw close to Thanksgiving.
In the six years a lot has happened in our family. My partner of 46 years, my cousin, and my other cousins husband passed away. I graduated, got ordained and served as a pastor besides moving several times. We were keenly aware of our dear ones absence. Yet, I experienced a kind hospitality that filled me with warmth and joy. The years have left their stamp on all of us, but the joy of being together erased every trace at the table.
We went to two wonderful spas, one of Hungary’s most famous known for its pools; theraputic and play and for its hospitality. We spent two nights at that fabulous place indulging our taste buds and senses. Forras Hotel in Szeged Hungary
A smaller spa, compared to the famous Forras, was the more intimate St Elizabeth’s spa.
We had wonderful Hungarian cooking and enjoyed all the pools except for the lap pool which was too cold for us.
I experienced hospitality at every relative’s home. Nowhere else have I experienced such an outpouring of love. Out of small kitchens came forth one delicious platter of food after another. Oh and the deserts were beyond my power to refuse. Food and loving conversation draws people together particularly estranged family and friends. Though I have not been estranged from my family over the past years we have changed. We get older, more frail and more vulnerable. We need both physical and spiritual food at the table.
After my return from Hungary I moved yet again. I returned to Circle Community. Once again, I am independent contractor. I officiate weddings and teach swimming, do pastoral counseling and spiritual direction. The hymn “Blessed are the ties that bind” reminds me though unconsciously, how we yearn for the love to bind us, the real food when we sit at the at the table, The conversation may drift to football, or politics as it always does, yet we are nourished by love, real spiritual food, when we gather at the family table.