I noticed two cardboard boxes on our front door stoop last week. They didn’t have a name or address on them. Just brown cardboard boxes. When we opened them, we discovered a meal from a Lebanese restaurant in New York City. Chicken, hummus, pita bread, vegetables, salads, baklava, olive oil, and a dozen containers of sauces. A feast on our doorstep.
The thing was, we hadn’t ordered a Lebanese chicken dinner.
So I got on the phone. I called and texted all our neighbors. No one knew about this box of food. Peter knocked on the door of the one house where we couldn’t get in touch. No one answered. I called the restaurant and got no answer. I filled out a form on the website and got no response. We kept the food in the fridge for three days in case someone came to claim it.
And then we prepared a feast.
I diced tomatoes and sprinkled olive oil on veggies. William rubbed the chicken with sumac and salt. Marilee set the table in the fancy dining room. Peter selected the music. (Penny, meanwhile, was upstairs partaking in a virtual ballet class.) And then we sat down together, clinked our water glasses, and enjoyed our meal.
It was a gift of food, but the gift also came in slowing down, preparing a meal together, and celebrating together on a random Monday night at what seems to be the beginning of the end of a long Covid year.
It was an unexpected, lavish, out-of-nowhere surprise—a feast on our doorstep. Grace, sitting on our doorstep.
To read more with Amy Julia:
- What Marilee Taught Me About Prayer
- In Their Own Words: Penny and William on Technology
- What Is My Body Telling Me?
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