Remember the feelings on the last evening of that perfect vacation with friends?
It was a wonderful week. Staring at the lake in the morning, wondering what life is, what life could be. Fires in the evening, and wandering through small towns in the afternoon. You got to focus on each other, to see each other first thing in the morning, last thing in the evening. The conversations wandered all over, and that was acceptable. You talked with other people, kept aware of the people back home, but this was the most important thing to do.
Now you are on the last evening. Tomorrow everything will be different. But you ignore everything you know. The meal preparation itself is almost sacred. Vegetables aren’t washed, they’re cleansed. Meat isn’t trimmed, a sacrifice is prepared. Each bite becomes an entire course, dipped in words, digested with the heart. The cleanup moves from being a chore into being a way to express your deep affection for each other.
And under the surface are secrets. “I am ill in ways I cannot tell you.” “My words are braver than my heart.” “If only it could stay like this forever.”
Can you see that gathering of friends, with secrets and dreams and wishes and doubts, that gathering of people exactly like you? Turn and look to the end of the table, to the host you hadn’t seen before. .
“I am leaving soon. Just as I’ve been telling you for months. You will keep seeing each other, but I’ll be gone, taking care of our business. This bread? Every time you eat it, remember this time. Remember my hands. This wine? Every time you drink it, remember that what’s about to happen is for you.”
If you heard that, you’d remember. Your whole life would remember.