- After a week of nurturing our spirits at the feet of South Sister, Broken To p and Mt .Bachelor in the high Oregon Cascades we took a break to clean up, get online and find some healthy food in the big city.
Taking turns getting online and showering we looked up the ten best eating spots in Bend. The the list I found has since mysterious ly disappeared . I was attracted to the healthiest sounding one. My wife poo pooed the likely vegan fair and we chose an Asian which was extraordinarily better than our gourmet camp food. Several days later on our way back through Bend I convinced my wife to have lunch at the vegan sounding place, The Common Table. It was one of the highlights of our entire trip.
The moment we walked into the Common Table it was clear this was not your usual healthy food place. The light , the energy was almost golden. The unique décor is a mix of a bookstore, a grill, a lounge, and an English fish and chips house. But there was also something else very different that permeated the place. We sat ourselves a t a burlwood table and wanted to order everything on the menu finally choosing something like Grilled Eggplant on a tower of portobello and Seafood Pasta Baked with a citrus Salmon and mango salsa . After choosing the perfect not your usual vacation type books like the ‘Dragons of Eden’ to delve into while waiting for our food, I couldn’t help myself finally asking the counter person what was this restaurant really about. Of course, it was then I noticed various artistic wall arrangements and statements about what and who Common Table is.
1) We feed all people through non-profit Common Table, using profits to provide subsidized meals at our Common Table, as well as supporting hunger initiatives and sustainable farming practices around the world.
2) We cherish the Earth and one another by heeding the advice of Kentucky farmer and poet Wendell Berry, “To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”
3) We pursue awareness by recognizing and respecting all people; recognizing the appropriate human relationship with the Earth; recognizing the health of our physical, intellectual, and spiritual selves.
So it was the humanity of this place , the people that glowed and provided its substance. Many of the employees are volunteers. Volunteering time, food, service, good cheer giving back to the community.. Many are also gratefully paid employees .
At my feet was a sign I missed .. Everyone who walks in the door will be served. Whether they
Have the resources or not are served with an open armed welcome , acceptance, respect and wholesome food.
A community creates a safe space for its members each holding a space of dignity and respect.
Common Tables holds this space without a hierarchy by the volunteers who are nourished by serving
“We endeavor to serve extraordinary food regardless of ability to pay”.
One Table. One People. Be Fed.
“We are an experimental volunteer-driven non-profit café”.
The impact of the Common Tables Community culture provides me with a powerful inspiration and provocative answer to turning around the increasingly insane and negative world we live in.
Nurturing no less than the wild beauty of our snow clad mtns and clear flowing rivers -
The goodness in our world is found within you and me.
All the doom and gloom that devours us driven by our media, politics and economics can never negate the values that arise from the Goodness that is within in each of us. This is a potent hope for our humanity and for our world. You can’t buy it , it’s free. It’s by choice and by intention.
Want to SERVE a few world bowls of food at the Common Table?