Being a volunteer can sometimes feel sapping, especially if there’s a lot of work to be done. I’ve often found it souring my relationship with the things I love as I desperately try to stay on top of problems to make sure other people have a good experience, particularly when they don’t seem to notice. However, it’s absolutely miraculous how quickly this vanishes when someone says they’re enjoying themselves or getting value out of what I’m doing. Even better is when I see a community that I’ve worked so hard to nurture coming together to support one of its own.
“They don’t know when she’ll be able to come home,” Tina said, staring at the table top.
“At least she’s where she’ll get the best care, love. I’ll pop the kettle on, shall I?” Agatha said, at a loss for any other comfort she could offer. Opening the fridge to put away the casserole she’d brought, she found there was no room. The shelves were full to overflowing with covered dishes and pints of milk. In spite of the misery filling the kitchen, she had to smile at just how quickly their neighbourhood could mobilise in a time of crisis.
"What do we do next?" I asked the enthusiastic child that was jumping around the kitchen.
"We put the cookies in the oven!" she yelled and tried to lift the tray, almost knocking the cookies on the floor. I caught it just in time and righted it up.
"Careful sweetie," I calmed her down and carefully put the delicious cookies in the oven. "Now..." I trailed off, knowing that little one knew the answer.
"We wait now!" she screamed in my ear. She plopped down in front of the oven, telling me that she'll watch so the cookies won't burn.
Other Kind of Community
Loud yapping greeted me at the door as I was about to open it. I was almost knocked down as three excited dogs rushed me and bonked my ankles.
"Blinky! Inky! Clyde!" I tried to calm them down so I could step inside the house. They ignored me as usual and nipped affectionately at my ankles until I took off my shoes.
I sighed and sat on the couch, finally glad to have time to relax from hard work.
People say that Chihuahuas are the worst. They may be the rats of the dog world, but they are my rats.
She pushed the chair back and walked to the water dispenser as the community representative raised her voice over the complaints of the two men. She looked outside at the sunny day and wondered what she was doing here, listening to the neighbours complain about each other endlessly when she could be walking on the beach. Sipping her water, she turned back to the mess that was the neighbourhood meeting. Although everyone was at each other's throats right now, she knew that they would meet for tea the next day as usual. That was the unchangeable truth of their neighbourhood.
Poetry poetry poetry! This is where submissions get a bit more creative than most, and it's a wonder how many HOLers (particularly the eagles) are filled with fabulous artsyness.