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.