Vita Sackville-West wrote, "It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily away. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?" I couldn't agree more. There are special moments that we don't want to forget. Last week, I had a memorable night with a group of friends. There was friendship, good conversation, flowers and candlelight. I didn't want to forget any of it.
My book club is one of those joys of life that I cherish. We have been together for about 20 years and we treasure our friendships. It is one of those wonderful things that came out of a simple conversation. I remember vividly the day the club was born. A group of us, consisting mostly of mothers at my daughter's school, had breakfast together one morning and talked about wanting to create a book group. We were all enthusiastic and decided to take the plunge. We set a date, picked a location and chose a book: Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. The book club was born and has been going strong ever since. New friends have joined over the years, but most of that core group has remained. We have gone through the milestones of life together and shared many things. Books are our focus, but friendship is the glue that holds us together.
We meet at each other's homes for dinner and our gatherings are cozy, fun and always stimulating. The other night the meeting was at my house and because we were celebrating a member's birthday, I decided to do something a little special. I styled the table with flowers from Hollyflora, new place mats and napkins, and lots of candles to give it a festive feel. We were discussing a book, but we were also celebrating a birthday.
The flowers set the tone for the table
Hollyflora specializes in groupings of small, romantic flower arrangements
Even our book The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt looked fetching in this setting
I put out votives for ambiance
The flowers were so beautiful that I couldn't stop taking pictures
Before everyone arrived, I lit the candles
They gave the table a warm glow
The green and gray napkins are from Lavender Blue, a store in Pacific Palisades that carries French linens
The flower arrangements of pinks, green, yellows and apricot complemented the linens
The scene looked magical bathed in candle light
The table was ready and it was time for everyone to arrive. The doorbell rang and my friends walked in, buzzing about the book and excited to sit down and eat. It was a cozy and fun evening. The food, brought by one of our members, was delicious. We drank a good wine and toasted the birthday girl. We had birthday cake for dessert. And the book...we were all enthusiastic about The Goldfinch! We had a fascinating discussion about the first half of the book. So many parallels to Dickens, more than I had already discovered. And how did the author Donna Tartt manage to do such a good job of getting inside the heads of two lost, adolescent boys binging on alcohol and drugs? She writes about grief in a powerful way. We talked about this brilliant writer who cultivates such an air of mystery. She took ten years to write this book. So much more to talk about. To be continued next month when we tackle the second half of the book...
It was a night to remember!