home for dinner

tonight, five of us decided to have one last get-together after our classes had ended, and one of the women offered to have the dinner at her house. it was a simple affair – a light salad, sparkling water, parmesan chicken, pasta tossed with fresh vegetables – but it felt so very luxurious to sit down before it. when i first walked in the front door, she was shaking vinaigrette together in a tupperware container, then spooning out petite portions of the salad onto little white plates to be set at each place at the table. i knew then that the salad would taste wonderful. maybe part of the charm was the candlelight, too; i am always a sucker for candlelight. everything bathes in that low gentle glow, and the bustle of the day quiets down accordingly.

it was also, i realized, the comfort – and utter relief – of being cooked for. i always manage to be surprised at what a tender thing that can be. weaving my way through every day as a 20-something, drinking in every moment and hoping it will lead the way to where i’m really supposed to be, i carry my independence around like a suitcase. it is a constant companion, teaching me how to pay my bills on time and get my car serviced regularly and eat at least two meals a day… and often i forget what it’s like to set my bags down. but sometimes, all it takes to feel like i’m headed home again is to be offered a meal in someone else’s.

we ended the night with brownies, deep and dark and topped with raspberries, and with gratitude for a bit of peace in the middle of the city.

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