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Friday, December 10, 2010

A Thousand Daily Graces

12/10


The coldest day yet. around 25 degrees. Signs of someone having been sick. Haven’t seen that for awhile. While I’m sweeping, the 11 bus pulls up. A heavyset woman stumbles out the backdoor and falls to the curb. Most people exiting simply step over her and walk on. But very quickly a group of three incredibly diverse people gather around. An African-American businessman in a fine gray wool coat and stylish glasses, a younger working class guy in jeans and a Northface down jacket, an attractive young woman in a pea coat and pullover hat, all bundled against the cold. The young woman takes charge. They help her up, bring her to the steps. She’s very shaken up. I come over to see if I can do anything, but everyone is just checking out the situation. Just a scrape, no bleeding, a bruise quickly appearing. I go in and get water, offer it. After a few minutes, they help her up. She’s still shaken. She wants to go to the Westside Campaign Against Hunger down the street. Together they head down 86th. That’s why I love this city. We take care of each other. We hold together by will, not by force or law. A thousand daily graces we extend to one another to choose to keep it working. Note: we need to have a first aid kit handy.


I’m inside waiting for an electrician who never comes. A husband, wife and young adult daughter come in. They’ve been by many times, never seen the door open. Want to look around. I give them a mini sanctuary tour. Talk about last week’s clean up day. They’re touched by the channukah menorah. I explain our dream of a Centre where all can come and share and grow. Tell them about the upcoming crafts fair. Note: we need to keep a stack of brochures and a donation box handy.


I call our attorney friend for an update on P____’s case. Back outside, I greet Gary Greengrass as he passes on his way to work. There’s a heavyset bearded man in multiple layers and a hoody, in sandals and socks, bumming cigarettes. Across the street, two more Quebecois reinforcements have arrived for the last big push for the peak of tree season. It’s two weeks until Christmas Eve.


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