ARTICLES & STORIES
Dinner Table Circle in Kansas
by Nancy Grandfield
Four of us were sitting around the dinner table having just finished a fine meal of steak and baked potatoes. The day had been a long one, but memorable as we had driven out to the Tallgrass country, a beautiful land of lush, brilliant green rolling Flint Hills of Eastern Kansas where we had all grown up, gone to university and been in each other's wedding parties.
Brad said, "Well, how did you think Kansas looked?" and his wife, Rosie, interrupted to say something about their grandkids. Max, in a rare talkative mood, began to respond to Brad's question, and I said, "I loved the wave upon wave of green."
Suddenly, I reached out for the salt shaker on the table, and said, "We need a talking object." I explained briefly how circle conversation worked, and magically, the others agreed to "play the game". I proposed we each say something that was meaning for us that we had shared that day in rediscovering our roots and memories. And with the salt shaker in my hand I re-mentioned the rolling plains, the wind on the hill top, the "sea of wheat" that undulated as we drove past the fields.
I handed the shaker to Rosie who said what it meant to her that we had reunited, and next Max said how important it was to him to have had the opportunity to take our grandchildren with us back into our history that weekend. Brad was grateful that the weather had been a perfect 76 degrees for our trip. And around the table again and again we each took our turns as we went deeper and deeper into the experience of old friends being together, perhaps for the last time. The final round, our words exhausted, tears were daubed dry with our napkins, and we simply sat in silence.
The unexpected magic of circle had once more brought forth its synergy, turning a Kansas dinner table in to a sacred and serene space where each was heard, each was touched, and each renewed the love that had endured across time and land. Maybe it was the merlot, maybe it was the memories, mostly it was the magic of circle. So simple and easy."