I’ve been away over the past couple of weeks, on a vacation with a dear friend and her family, and then at a wedding of another dear friend. I am so grateful for these trips, and the incredible generosity that made them possible. I am also very happy to be home, back to life at The Dale, and at Sanctuary. These two weeks away gave me plenty of opportunity to rest and be rejuvenated, and also to talk about my beloved communities.
I found myself telling many new people about The Dale, especially at the wedding. I spent a week with 40ish people that I had never (or barely) met, so I had many conversations about who I am and what I do with my time! I was able to explain the philosophy of the Dale, and that fact that I gain just as much and more than I give to the community, as I receive the gifts of others. The consistent response that I got from people was, “Wow, you really seem to love what you do!” It’s true… I really do!
Coming home this week, I was reminded afresh of why I love this community, and the many ways that we work together to weave the fabric that is The Dale. Let me share a few:
– a community member phoned me up to tell me that he’d been offered a bunch of free food that would otherwise go to waste, and wanted to share it with us/the neighbourhood. He came to outreach with a duffel bag full of fresh, packaged sandwiches, which we were able to distribute.
– A bunch of guys in the community pitched in with shoveling, dish washing, and moving some belongings for another community member, all without being asked.
– Folks in the community are always looking out for one another, and this week a number of folks caught me up on some worries they had for others in the community. These weren’t bits of gossip, but honest concerns for mutual friends.
– I also went to dinner drop-in at Sanctuary, and was told by a friend that she’d been praying for me while I was away. She wanted to tell me about her week, which was full of struggles and victories, and also to hear about my trips, know the colour of my bridesmaid’s dress, and see pictures.
It was good to be away, and it’s SO good to be back.