Coming Together

"The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It's about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment." -Shauna Neiquist Bread and Wine

As the winter season draws closer I naturally begin to shut down with the cold weather.  It’s almost as if I begin to freeze + become numb to everything + everyone. You know that feeling when your fingers are cold, but you are trying to type but you just can’t move your fingers to the letters fast enough to even write anything? Movements become slow. Every part of me feels that way when it gets cold outside + the sun doesn’t appear for weeks at a time.

I know many people suffer from seasonal depression here in Michigan. I have struggled with anxiety + depression off and on a good part of my life, but when I moved up here to grand rapids from the warm state of North Carolina I began to experience depression + a deep loneliness that felt incredibly foreign to me. Trying to decipher these new emotions was a challenge considering there were so many factors: moving to a new city (culture shock), new marriage, no friends, pregnancy hormones, post pregnancy hormones, etc. I had never even heard of seasonal depression before moving here.

Anyways, I can go on + on about how the winter is the death of me, but instead I wanted to share with you this idea I had. I have tried so many different ways to stay positive through this season. I have acquired several tricks that really help me stay on top of it, but there are always weeks in there where I’m a complete mess. One of the best things for me, but the HARDEST is pushing myself + connecting with others who I can laugh, be silly, be myself, turn my perfectionist brain OFF, and simply be. With that being said, I want to create a community where we can gather to eat some good food, encourage each other, have fun, connect, but most importantly create a space to be vulnerable + keep each other accountable through this low season. When I shared my desire to host a soup night on my InstaStory I was blown away by ya’lls response, I wanted to cry. But it also just confirmed that we all desire community + a place to connect with others.

creating community around the table with soup

So I want to open my home for a regular community soup night. My desire is for it to be the 1st Sunday and the 3rd Wednesday of the month. This allows people with different things going on to come to whichever one fits their schedule. I’m so excited to announce that the FIRST night I will be hosting is Wednesday, November 15 at 6:30pm.  Obviously, this first night will be a little bit of a trial + error, but I want you guys to come as you are. More than likely I will create a Facebook group after the first night so people can check for updates on events.

If this is something you are interested in being apart of, please send me an email at rayannebarker@gmail.com ( I have limited space + I do want to keep it fairly intimate)

xx - Ray

creating community around the table with soup