And this is just one week's worth! :
Thank you, David, for showing up unexpectedly with 8 dozen eggs from your farm. We made gorgeous omelettes and ate our fill. We sent boxes of eggs home with friends and family.
Thank you Michelle for bringing vegetables from your garden, unasked for. We made an amazing huge pot of soup. There was so much leftover we packed it in recycled yogurt containers and sent some home for dinner with almost every family.
Thank you Hanifa for more vegetables from your garden the next day! I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and wasn't sure if we'd have enough food that day.
We talked in the kitchen chopping vegetables while Warren took the children for a walk in the woods. We ate the "fruit of paradise" ; you said keeping busy was the best way to stay alive and I believe women who have lived in refugee camps with 6 children in tow.
We threw everything in the pot, reminding me of Stone Soup, put it over rice and lunch was perfect. We had lots left to feed visitors who stayed and ate with us on the porch. They went back for seconds, thirds. There is still some left to give to the children who will come tomorrow with special dietary needs.
Thank you also for the bag of new toys; the children dived into them with relish and got started right away using the kitchen stuff for fresh mud pies and flower soups.
Thanks you for your big Kosovo heart. The children always ask when you will come and greet you each day with special respect. Noah, my perceptive and discerning preteen who does not dole out compliments lightly, said that you were the kindest person he knew.
Thank you Jodi, dear friend and Short Street Cakes lady, for showing up this week and jumping right in. For swooning with the palpable magic of the space, for making plantain polstices and cleaning up the dishes and affirming all the good that's happening here. Can't wait for you to come bake cakes the old way.
And Emma, worker-owner of Firestorm Cafe and community activist, for believing in community ownership and coming to help when I had no-one else to fill in. For staying long hours on the porch talking and dreaming about how you could bring your jewlery making tools and skills and offering to help if ever I need it. And reminding me of that several times. You said community education is worth volunteering time and energy and resources to even though you, yourself, don't have children. You believe in it.
Thank you Warren for taking walks with the kids, for getting out the microscope after the walk and being present while everyone came to take looks at beetle's wings and frog's blood and tree skin cells.
Thank you Mado, for weaving magic with the yoga you do with the children. It is one of my favorite parts of the week. It was amazing to see almost every kid filling up the yoga room, totally present. You bring so much awareness and creativity to everything you do. I feel blessed when you show up each week.
Thank you, Juan, busy as you are, for coming to play guitar with the kids and loving it. It's a whole level of coolness to have a Asheville super star here every week, loving to be with the kids. The day always gets better when you walk in with your grace and peace, even though you're busy, and really show up for the kids- spending more time than planned every week because you're so into it. As a result they're so into it.
Thank you Denise, for volunteering your time and centeredness and long years of experience to guide the children through art every Wednesday. There were so many kids out with you on the porch and a Zen calm filling the whole thing. The way you make yourself accessible but not obtrusive and stay for long hours so the children can flow in and out of it naturally is really beautiful and works so well with the atmosphere we are trying to create. It makes our Wednesdays so enjoyable.
Thank you Logan for coming even though you and Malachi had had an exhausting week, because you knew the girls were looking forward to belly-dancing again. Another Asheville super-star bringing professional teaching to the kids with a huge amount of love and positivity. You and all those girls dressed up and giggling, jangling hips and waving fans, is about as cute as it gets. No-one can resist peeking in. It means so much that people are not only giving lip service to the project but are personally comitted to making this happen each week. That alone overwhelms me with humility and gratitude, that I get to be right here in the middle of it.
Thank you every off-the-charts incredible child showing up with your goodness. To watch you do your stuff - caring for each other, all ages, and working through problems and spending hours making art and making games and making food and making fun every day makes me feel as if I'm in a beautiful dream every single day. Today Lucius told his mom, "I was a real artist! I spent the whole day at this art table!" And the art table showed every sign of intensive use. It was gorgeous.
Thank you for the mystery and the unseen hands that hold it all together. It is goodness in the making.