For the past two years, I have rarely gone out to dinner. The Pandemic was one reason. The other was my favorite restaurants in town closed or went out of business. If I wanted to eat out, I had to drive an hour to the nearest, metro center.
So, this week when my husband suggested we go out for dinner, I enthusiastically replied, “When? Where?”
We agreed on a local eatery, recently renovated and under new ownership.
A young, well-dressed woman guided us to a table near a window. I smelled the hint of garlic wafting off tomato sauce and perhaps onions frying in butter, coming from the back kitchen. Several people sat at the polished mahogany bar. A party of six laughed and talked amiably while enjoying glasses of wine and an array of appetizers. While I glanced over the menu, several more people were seated and before long the place was packed.
When our food arrived, I took a moment to appreciate how lovely the food was displayed on my plate before savoring the luscious cuisine. My husband’s meal looked especially appetizing, grilled halibut with mango chutney, asparagus spears, fluffy rice, and balsamic swirls with basil leaves on the side.
Although I enjoyed chatting with my husband and truly reveled in our meal out together, I found my gaze often wandered to the people clusters around me. A mother chuckled with her teenage son. A group of women placed gifts, wrapped in colorful wrapping paper, near the center of their table. A family of three passed around a platter of bruschetta crostini. A young couple held hands while they fed each other samples from their plate. A boisterous foursome at the other end of the restaurant joked and kept clinking their glasses. My guess is they were celebrating something. Everyone seemed happy.
I don’t know if it was the food, the kind wait staff, the lively atmosphere, the fact that I hadn’t been out for dinner in quite some time, or maybe, just the humble truth that I do well on my own, but community, that sense of belonging, is so much better.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
How did you find solace this week?
© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved