Monday, August 10, 2020

Around My Table

"The world begins at a kitchen table."

While Tropical Storm Isaias raged like a lion last week on Long Island, we spent four days huddled around our kitchen table grateful for hurdling another dark stormy event in our lives. The darkness and sweltering heat surrounding those days left my family and friends breathless, isolated, and far away from reality as we functioned without power, electricity, hot water, and the internet. Little did we know of life outside our neighborhood that was strewn with heavy branches fallen from massive trees. It was the kitchen table that brought us together with electric candles as we talked and began the cleaning-out-the-freezer process. 

I think back on all the years the table served as a hub for family life and am grateful to have found Joy Harjo's poem to ponder. It became a catalyst for me to write using her line, "The world begins at a kitchen table," as a prompt. Her poem is full of the beauty of kitchen life. At the end of October, my family will leave our Long Island home of thirty-eight years for a second chapter of family life. My table memories will fill my life with joy.

We start each day in our hub, the
kitchen, with a revolving world
of conversation. Life begins
with a daily gathering at
dawn where a  
litany of thoughts flow from the kitchen.
Evenings sing of gratitude around our sturdy table,
washed with years of joyful and sorrowful tears.
©CVarsalona, 2020, Long Island

I missed Poetry Friday last week due to the storm but am happy to backtrack and connect with my writing friends. Connections are important in this world during quarantine life because they keep spirits high. Thank you to my poet friend Laura Purdie Salas who was last week's host. She has an original poem and a wonderful, information graphic on "Why aren't you writing a poem?" Although I am late to join the roundup, I feel that this poem needed to be written and sent out.

A new kitchen waits for me here in Virginia.



  1. Carol, I'm so glad you guys are okay. And while huge storms like that are never fun, exactly, don't they have their own blessings. That feeling of hurdling something together, of appreciating the things we sometimes take for granted, etc. There's something special about that remove from everyday life somehow. What a beautiful poem--your last two lines are just gorgeous. How exciting to be starting a new chapter. I hope your table's going with you!

    1. Thank you for accepting my post late, Laura, and your continual support of my writing. While this started as a golden shovel, the last line came out and I just wanted to leave it there. Many thanks again. Off to get the house ready for a showing.

  2. Oh, I'm so glad your power is back and things can get back to normal for you and family. I have always loved Joy Harjo's poem and I love your golden shovel poem about your table. 38 years in one place, that will be a tough move. But to be closer to your grand girls with new memories to make will be joyful!

    1. Thank you, Ramona, for being a faithful friend. Yes, it is so wonderful having power back and being able to connect with friends. New memories will be made and joy will come forth. The rough part is getting there. The realtor called with news that the prospective buyer is ill and has to postpone the appointment. Waiting is difficult.

  3. Beautiful heartfelt poem Carol, I can feel so much of it as we just had a tornado in my neighborhood. Although our power was only off for 22 hours– there can be much stress in how you deal with less in dark and very warm temps, thanks, stay well and safe, xo

    1. Michelle, tornado, tropical storms, COVID-so much to deal with. Life keeps rolling on and now I have to remember to be grateful for lights and hot water.