1000 Yokes

I started the holidays hungry this year. Not in the literal sense, I’m well fed thankyouverymuch, but in the sense of longing for something intangible that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. If I close my eyes and really try to pinpoint the feeling, it’s an urge to stretch myself like a bridge over the generations. A desire to reach back in time to my grandparents and uncles and great aunts and all those ghosts of Christmas past, then pull them close around my table today. Sit them by the fire. Introduce them to my grandchildren and if it was possible to my great grandchildren and all the generations yet to come. I think of them too. I don’t know why this feels important; That’s a therapy session for another day. But when you look at my holiday table, you’ll notice I rarely set one China pattern. This year is no different. Three women sit at my table. Three in these photos. Three represented in the dishes they once lovingly chose to serve their family, before being passed onto me. When I set the table I think of them. I see a Christmas 30 years ago and another almost 100 years past. Someone I love dearly is in one and I see her setting the table with these then. She is with me when I set them today. My grandmother who died young, right after WWII is another, she’s here around our Christmas table too. Isn’t it strange that we all chose a similar pattern? Look how well it blends! Almost as if we chose it together. The generations are here today and it’s as much about honoring and loving them as it is decorating. I’ve thought often about where this China will go after I don’t need it anymore and I hope it sees as much joy in the future as it did in the past.

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