As I picked up my fork, the burnished silver of it caught my eye. Not new. Not in a very long time. The entire silver service at this wonderful establishment had the glow of history. A history of good and happy use.
Funny how a simple fork can reverse the course of an otherwise solitary evening and turn it joyful if you look at it in the right way. The cycle of use, tarnishing, polishing and reuse had placed this implement of memory right in my hand. The good things have a way of doing that. They do not have to be expensive to have this effect. Just good. I let my mind wander, no doubt assisted by the Sancerre, to the wedding proposals, birthdays, anniversaries, victory celebrations and perhaps even a wake or two in which this silver service had no doubt been a silent participant over the years. I thought of the direct transmission of those events and of the people participating in them from their time to mine, to me, via the utensil I was holding. In the place of a modestly attended mid-week dining room, glasses clinked and ladies and gentlemen quietly laughed with their faces close together while corks popped.
Aristotle wrote that everything grows old under the power of time and is forgotten. I would beg to disagree. Certainly time ages everything. That is what the passage of time is for. But everything is not forgotten. Timeless things remain, sometimes right before us. Things that can bring us at least a little of the loveliness of times past to brighten our days. Or our nights. Some of those things are around you right now. Look about and see.
I took a bite of my food. Toasted Aristotle. And smiled. Warmed by the fine company in which I was dining.