In the circle of the hearth

cookstove3bI don’t care how many platters of food or beer coolers you spread around the den, I don’t care how many plump cushions you position next to the sound system, I don’t care if you live in a camper trailer or a mansion on the hill, EVERYONE ends up in the kitchen.

We are moths to flame when it comes to being in the kitchen.

You can’t move people out of the narrow alley between your sink and stove. They shuffle a bit but just won’t go.

Am I right?

Wine glass in hand, your brother squishes himself against the refrigerator so you can reach the cooking utensils, then slides and twists to move just a few inches to your other side when you have to actually get into the fridge.

Your two best friends are engaged in solving the world’s most urgent problems…right in front of the spice cupboard as you reach  for the critical seasoning  while whisking the sauce to completion.

It’s great. I love the commotion and heat in the kitchen. I have a wood cookstove and a gas range in mine. People gather around both. No one is ever in the living room. Food and food preparation draw everyone in. Is it a throwback to our earliest cave days when everyone gathered around the communal fire?

And, there’s something else that draws us in: the human voice and language. We gather around the radio or read the words of friends and neighbors and we are made part of something. We close our eyes and listen as Garrison Keillor or Brian Mann tells a story, pulling us into the circle of human experience.

Perhaps it’s late at night and you’re driving home alone, listening to a familiar voice and feeling a part of this place…and not so alone.

Or, it may be Dale Hobson’s brilliantly quirky weekly posts or Todd Moe commiserating with Martha Foley about the waning  daylight or David Sommerstein talking two languages simultaneously as he takes us from hiphop to salsa to James Brown–it all draws us to a shared hearth.

You are always welcome in the NCPR kitchen. There’s always enough room for more. There’s no secret password or entry fee. All we ask is that you throw a stick on the fire or stir the soup or share a story.

Won’t you step into our kitchen this week?


1 Comment on “In the circle of the hearth”

  1. Terence says:

    Very true! I’ve always thought the best arrangement was a breakfast nook close to the heat source, but far enough away from the sink and fridge that guests don’t get underfoot…

Comments are closed.