As we gathered around the table I noticed the eclectic mix of mismatched old plates. I am a huge fan of personal expression and if this was creativity at work I would have admired her style and continued eating.
Yet I knew this was not a creative expression.
Out of respect I held in any questioning or comments on this random choice of crockery, and yet I continued to wonder.
I recalled a day, many years ago, and the moment I noticed her quietly lusting after a particular range of dinnerware. As she lovingly held up each plate she recounted her desire to own such beauty. Her dream of having a pretty plate to put a cake on when friends stopped by. She was a single Mum in the 70ies and 80ies and would never have indulged in such niceties, not with 3 kids to raise and a mortgage to pay on her own.
That very Christmas my husband and I pooled our money and bought her the dinner set, along with a few extra fancy pieces to go with it. She excitedly unwrapped it and proudly placed it on the table to be used.
It has been quite some time since we last shared a meal around that same table. As the years marched on it became easier for me to do all the festive cooking and so the various celebrations had been relocated to our home. This year for a change I took the food and the family to her.
We finished eating and I busied myself in the kitchen preparing dessert. Glancing over and noticing her engrossed in play with the children I decided to look for some bowls myself.
I opened the cupboard and there, stacked ever so neatly and covered in a light coat of dust, was the dinner set we bought all those years ago. I reached in and grabbed the stack of bowls and quickly rinsed them in the sink. One by one I filled each bowl and headed for the table.
She caught my eye and then noticed the fancy bowl in my hand, I paused, had I overstepped my mark?
“Oh your using those bowls’, she said.
“Yes I am”, I blurted, trying to cover up my nervous hesitation. “Is that okay? Is there something wrong with them? Why don’t you use them?” My nervousness turning into a round of twenty questions.
“There is nothing wrong with them”, she said. “I am glad you got them out. I don’t use them because I am saving them for good”.
For good! What does that mean? When is good?
I slowly ate my dessert all the while pondering this notion of good.
I took my time gathered my thoughts and then fairly and squarely looked her in the eye and said………
This is the good, each and every single day of your life is the good. There is no one more important entering your home than you, you are the good.
She blinked away a tear and looked at me in disbelief before quickly changing the conversation.
In that very moment I made a lifelong promise;
To regularly use my fancy china and to sip champagne from my crystal flutes.
To spritz on that expensive perfume and burn my exotic candles.
To frequently wear my finest clothes and twirl in my fancy heels.
To treat each and every moment as grand and to offer up my very best.
My lifelong promise to not save anything for good to recognise that each and everyday of my life is the good.
What are you saving for good? Are you ready to use it, wear it, enjoy it? Go on.