Sacred Hospitality

A Deity I offer honor unto is Hestia. She was the Lady of the Hearth, a Goddess so fundamental there was little written about her. No one needed to write down Her stories, they were told cradle-side and carried throughout life.

Nowhere is She felt more than when I throw a party. For years, in my old life, we hosted Sunday Suppers once or twice a month. These were informal gatherings of 2-4 friends for a simple meal, a bit of wine, and a lot of conversation. For years we held a grand feast at Epiphany, not for any religious reason but because we could count on our friends to be available after the holiday busy-ness. Feasts were big events, seating 12 people around a couple of tables and utilizing all of my “good” china, silver, and crystal. In later years we began a new winter holiday tradition — the Jolabokaflod. Friends would gather at brunch, bringing a wrapped book with them. We’d serve scrambled eggs, sweet pastries, plump sausages, and homemade applesauce. Coffee and cocoa washed it all down and, at the end, we’d hold a book swap. Everyone left with a new book to read, and a feeling of contentment.

She is much on my mind today as I prepare for the first in-home entertaining we’ve been able to do in a very long time. We’re taking advantage of having a large backyard and a fortuitous break in the weather to invite everyone we know in our new life to come for cheese & crackers. They’ll bring wine, and a dish to share, we’ll offer music and a place to hang out to talk for a few hours. I’ll bet many will stay until the sun goes down, perhaps even ordering take out when the prepared food runs out.

I’m thrilled to be able to bring this back into normal for us.

Hestia bless this house
Let us welcome warm friends, stout and true
to honor your steadfast presence
to honor You.

So mote it be!

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