Taste this . . . have you tried this? . . . have a bite of this . . . do you want to take some of this home? . . .
Maple Festival in the Highlands is one big communion table where we’re feeding each other with offerings from hearts filled with the love we call neighborliness.
But make no mistake – it’s love.
Have a taste of this, says Bev, of the sample of butter-rich goodies from Pearl’s friend from Norfolk, who sent some batches of love for the Ladies’ Auxiliary.
Take home some sausage gravy, Patsy offers, her body bent and broken over in exhaustion from the making.
Have some sweet tea I made, Jean offers up, like shed blood, as she goes home to lie down, too sick to come, too determined to stay home.
John slips me an extra sausage pattie from his station at the serving line.
Tim bestows a free donut fresh from his hands to mine and I lick the maple glaze from my gloved fingers and proclaim it good and very good.
Gloria hoards the box of fresh donuts I bring her in the night on her lap, smiling with the glee of a child.
Francis and Kristie and Jessie generationally surround me, swooping a plate of buckwheat cakes with sausage gravy into my eager hands.
It is a time of abundance and superabundance.
It is a time of sacrifice as people gather and work hard, giving their time and their effort – and this from a people who already work hard – every day.
It is communion.
Broken bodies are given in service.
The blood sweat of earnest labor pours forth from them.
I stand back a bit and behold them all and know that I am in love with them.