By Saturday evening, I’ve had a chance to shake off the workweek, because my Sundays are special. Sacred actually. It’s the day I practice the ritual of creating community. This weekly practice is inclusive of an ever-expanding tribe of family and friends (some by birth, others by choice) who come together every Sunday to participate in a communal meal, share our stories, laughter, and deep appreciation for one another.
The morning starts with our weekly pilgrimage to the farmers market. The kids visit the crepe stand, while I wait in line with my beloved for a morning coffee, before commencing with the squeezing of tomatoes. A few phone calls to several of the usual suspects and the menu starts to take shape while our baskets fill with the fixings of our evening meal.
The bustle of the market, the bounty of the vendors, the songs of a busker – I’m grateful to live in a place where fresh, organic and local foods are such a huge part of our culture. It is the common thread in our community.
Back home, food is in the larder, while kids, cousins and comrades begin to arrive for the next phase of the day—a hike through our “back yard”—the aptly named Redwood Park. Living just below the crest of the East Bay hills, the hike from our home to the park gets the blood pumping. We stop and catch our breath – not just from the climb, but from the stunning vistas of the San Francisco Bay. I never tire of this view. It is a gift to live here.
Inspired by the boundless energy of children—and dogs, we hike into a cool canyon surrounded by ancient trees, envisioning what was here long before us. We hunt for owl feathers while husband and son venture into a deep, dry arroyo returning with bags of refuse – their practice of nature’s stewardship.
Those who didn’t make the hike have made themselves at home in the kitchen. Dishes are dried, tables are cleared, bottles uncorked—and dutifully sampled (somebody has to do it), while a salad and side dishes take shape. The sound of happy people fills the air. The magic is happening.
We dine al fresco in our perfect Indian Summer weather – grabbing chairs and making room for a dozen or so hungry humans. More wine, accompanied by laughter (the perfect pairing), our communal meal, shared with love, nourishes our bodies and souls—a ritual cherished by all. It’s what makes our house a home.
We are grateful.