by Dave Markwell

During my lifetime, I have sat at many tables. I have enjoyed dinner tables and picnic tables and high-top bar tables. I have rested my elbows on various shapes and sizes and textures of tables. The single common thread connecting the tables of my life are the other people sitting at them with me.

Family and friends reside at my tables. We share a laugh or mashed potatoes or a pitcher of beer. We share our lives. Certain tables remind us and reassure us. We are safe and certain at these tables. They are a sanctuary from the harsh winds that life can blow at us. Simple peace and joy live at these tables. They’re beautiful.

Through my years, I have shared many tables with many people. I have enjoyed a meal or a beer with kids of all ages. I have smiled and cried with my tablemates. These tables reflect our shared lives. Looking around the table at Thanksgiving this year, I was proud to see a wonderful and rare collection of friends who, through life and time, became family. These are the best kind of people. They are the family we choose. Through mutual decision, we tie our lives together and face the world with hands and hearts connected.

These are the special people and I am happy I have them. I know they’re rare and I know people who don’t have them and I feel bad for them. These people give life its color and create sound and move our hearts and minds. They are the “why?” They are the answer to our questions of purpose and meaning.

Sitting in my quiet house, I look out the window and see the raindrops melting the snow and I understand the fleeting hands of our clock and am happy and proud to know that for all the mistakes I’ve made and flaws I possess, I am a good friend. I have won and lost many things, many times, but my greatest treasure, my lotto ticket win, are the people at my tables. I’ve earned these people and they’ve earned me and as life continues its trek to wherever the hell it’s going, this fact makes every single thing worth it. This is true for me and this is true for all of us…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). He also runs the new Waterland Arcade, located at 22306 Marine View Drive South. Dave extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, Dave needs more friends – find him on Facebook here.

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