I was fascinated. My casual conversation with a tablemate at a fundraiser for Friends of Nursing had suddenly taken an interesting turn. It was ignited by the opening of a bottle of white wine.
“Are you going to save the cork?” asked a peer at our table of eight.
“Oh, yes!” she replied, followed with, “You know I made a whole table of corks at home.”
“You did?” I inquired.
And then she began to tell the tale.
The table was most beautifully crafted from corks from around the world. Meticulously placed – and necessarily rearranged – she aligned them beautifully with artistic acumen. Anchored by cardboard and luminescent tiles, she quickly realized that their uniqueness would require her to put similarly sized pieces together; readjust and reconsider.
She was careful to note that while many of the corks belonged to her, friends who knew of her newfound intrigue would also share corks of their own. Each was special, worthy of recognition – so she placed them in such a way that their inscriptions would be prominent. As I listened to their origins and the celebrations that accompanied them, I felt myself lulled into a place of merriment, compelled by the character of each one.
It occurred to me that in many of our fast-paced lives, some of our best memories can be washed into oblivion if they are not properly – stored. I’m convinced that tangible mementos are often ideal for the purpose of sealing those moments in our minds. When I viewed the image she shared with me at the table, my mind delved into the wonderment of the memories cast.
Perhaps, a bottle was uncorked because a beloved son returned home from college. Maybe this one paralleled a loving rendezvous at a 50-year anniversary. Yet another could have been an occasion when the day was so trying that it warranted the best Red available. What if the one on the end was from the last meal that was shared with a friend before he passed away?
This “table” moved my heart in the most compelling of ways, for I took away several lessons that I hope to impart to readers who’ve landed on this page.
Lesson 1: Live!
While we could wait for unusually special events to celebrate meaningful happenings, limiting ourselves to so few instances can inhibit our enjoyment in the richness of life. In lieu of deliberating, let’s champion instead heralding the sensational and the simple. Both can be joys. This table is a reminder that there are plenty from which to choose.
Lesson 2: Listen…
Incline your ear to the stories that sing of successes, surmising, sentiments and sorrows. Whether yours or the ones you love, they serve as a tapestry of your life – and connect you in the most intimate ways to the moments and people who matter most. I can’t fathom the adventures that adhere to this fine piece of artistry. Oh, the stories she will tell – because she espoused them.
Lesson 3: Learn…
Her original idea was both noble and nimble. Though it was her first attempt, she was committed to the task, trial and error inherent. However, her plan also required that it was nimble. It had to be changed. Pieces she’d assumed would be easy to align weren’t. They weren’t all the same shape and size. Placing them where she’d initially intended could have made the final piece discordant – a lot like life.
Sometimes, we judge from afar and determine emphatically what choices we’d make, how and why; but, life has a funny way of revealing that not everything that we deem correct always fits together. There are some things we have to adjust.
There are things we need to change.
There are elements we should reconsider, so that our ultimate decisions lead to cohesion and not discord.
I absolutely love this table. I am mesmerized by the history with which it is infused, the treasures that it captures, the collective it represents and the hearts that it holds. With each journey during which a bottle was uncorked, an affection was indelibly inscribed.
As we continue along our own paths, it is my hope that we will uncork many proverbial bottles in our lifetime. May the experiences be unfeigned and as unforgettable as its characters. If the pandemic era hasn’t taught us anything else, we’ve realized our fragility and the criticality of making everyday count. So, let’s make a toast to living life to the fullest – even when it’s hard – and creating the stories new generations will love.
#uncorked #unfeigned #live #listen #learn #love #life #livelifetothefullest #onelove #purpose #passion #betheone #carlamichelle