August 30, 2011
post hurricane truth
My PTSD sort of sets in at the mere mention of a tropical storm. I grew up in sunny south Florida and lived in Homestead when Hurricane Andrew rolled through all those years ago. So much has changed since then, I live 1,000 miles away, I have babies of my own to protect, I know that storms, even in all their destruction, bring people together…and when there is fear in your heart, every invitation of love is a good idea.
It started with a food conversation, I guess storms and food have that one thing in common. We decided that at 5pm all who wanted to would gather, Jen (the mayor of the street commune and neighborhood) would make her famous curry soup and naan. Yes, six batches of naan should be enough, although there really can never be too much naan. I spent the day running to help with naan, making breakfast casserole and puppy chow while kids played their own version of monopoly with tiny stuffed animals. There were lots of rules to follow.
When the wind picked up and the sky grew dark, the naan and Irene worked their magic and 30 people, (neighbors, dear friends and family who just happened to be visiting, grandparents seeking higher ground, etc.) gathered in one house to ride out the storm together. Somehow happy chaos found her way into the storm…along with some piano playing, a shot of vodka and the holy breakin’ of igniting glow sticks. Everyone bringing their own light in some way.
I looked around and wished everyone had this sort of community, because the truth is life is full of all kinds of storms…what if each one were greeted with such love? I imagine we all would be doing a helluva lot better. We woke up to lots of trees down, some on our street, damaging the houses of the people we care about and live with. It seemed like the only perfect response was to do what we knew from the night before. So we set a long beautiful table with linens and flowers, right in the middle of the street and all the destruction…and ate naan cakes.
We all decided that when the power is gone you should just empty your refrigerator and eat like kings! The morning turned into day, someone brought out Balderdash and beer, the kids played in the street and I chalked what I know to be true over and over again…if ever there was a perfect storm, it was this one.
April 25, 2011
“It’s like WE are the Easter Bunny!” Lucy (age 5)
It’s so true, it’s so lovely to get to be a magical mythical figure, even just for a tiny bit. A day before leaving for an Easter weekend camping trip (which, btw, was so comical for us city folk), we got together with our partners in kindness crime on our block to do some sweet guerrilla goodness for the kids at our local park.
We wrote our messages and stuffed them along with treats into good ole’ plastic easter eggs and hid them at our neighborhood park early one morning before Easter. Some friends wrote their own and I’m not sure actually had full complete words, but the intent of kindness was just the same so we put them in.
I have to tell you, I was in the grouchiest mood on the filling day, it is always a wonder how kindness can melt you, no matter which side you find yourself on. Just looking at these pics of dear children finding their kindness way pretty much carries me as long as my heart needs.
And then there was one, who just thought the entire thing made no sense at all and held tight to her egg, which was just fine with me…sometimes the whole orchestration is just meant for us to receive.
Thanks J and crew for all the sweet energy you always bring to every kindness project we do together!
Oh how was your Easter? Hoping kindness found you too…
February 13, 2011
Lucy: (in total kindness and candy triumph) yelling “Cotton Candy Kindness!! We did it!!”
I think we may have reached kindness nirvana my friends! Today our street gathered together to do a little neighborhood guerrilla goodness on our block and at our local park, it was so, so sweet. Someone lent their yard and power, somebody else got supplies to make signs, one family made the raddest side walk chalk…and then all together, we handed out the mother of all Valentine’s treats-COTTON CANDY!
110 servings to be exact. To kids, the skate park crowd, the passerbys, the basketball players, people driving by in their cars. It was ridiculous fun!
Small children making signs and distributing kindness candy love may be the greatest thing ever.
The drive-thru cotton candy was fantastic!
I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or adults, but we decided we MUST do it again!
Happy Valentine’s Day! May kindness find you in all the ways you need to know love!!