Friday night while eating dinner in a small bistro I was overcome with happiness.  The restaurant was very crowded and the table that had been chosen for us wasn’t ready.  We said we would wait for another table.  Any table would be fine.  Really.  A moment later, the sommelier brought us each a complimentary glass of wine.  A table became available and we were pleased with its location.  It was a small table tucked between two others.  I could almost touch elbows with the woman next to us.  We ordered dinner.  I asked for the chef to surprise me and just send out what he thought was best that evening for each course.  It was my birthday dinner and I was being treated to the best in town by the LOML.  The chef sent out wonderful creations.  The couple next to us introduced themselves.  Then they introduced the guy on the other side of them. 

As I sat at our small table, with the LOML across from me engaged in animated conversation with our neighbors, I took a bite of the scallop on my plate.  The briny sweetness exploded in my mouth with the slight tartness of the wine sauce.  I closed my eyes and savored the flavor and the sounds of laughter.  I was incredibly happy.  I was surrounded by the chaos of strangers eating, talking and laughing.  Somehow we were connected by the food and by the laughter. 

I am not a person who likes crowds.  I’m miserable at parties.  I need solitude – peaceful quiet places like the barn or my garden.  But, I felt connected with the people in that crowded restaurant.  They weren’t my family or my friends.  They were strangers.  And I felt love towards them.  And I am grateful for that.


11 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. (I think that other post was written by an admirer).This is going to be another great blog. What a beautiful way to spend your birthday. You must know the restaurant well to let the chef make all the decisions for your dinner. Are you going to tell me what else you had? You described it well.Also, I'd like to know how "small stones" started and if it's free verse or must have a pattern of some kind. Love yours. Happy Birthday.

  2. I enjoy reading these small stones for their attention to detail, and you also did a great job of bringing those details to bear on your life and personality, which added a layer I could relate to, too. Nice. The dinner must have been beyond amazing since it was able to bring strangers happily together like that in such a communal space.

  3. Lori – Actually this was our first visit to the restaurant. We were staying in the wine country on the central coast of California. The owner of the B&B where we stayed said she had done the "ask the chef to send out his choice" and loved it. The food was amaing – the scallops of course (over fat asparagus spears in a red wine sauce), a duck tarte appetizer, duck breast main course, and pot de chocolate for dessert.

  4. What a nice birthday dinner you had, and you wrote a lovely post about it. It would be wonderful if we could all feel more like you did at your dinner instead of purposefully ignoring people. I think this is going to be a great blog that we will all enjoy. Happy Birthday!

  5. hi there, i just found you and loved your kitty on your banner. looks like my sylvester. gratitude is so important and i enjoyed the fact that you publicized the joy you experienced while eating a fine meal. sounds like a place we eat at frequently.

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