Thank You, Love
Stress. Exhaustion. Depression. They’re real, y’all. Even with plenty of resources. Even with supportive friends and family. Even with a job I love.
Last week had me in a major slump. I worked too much. I felt sad that people I love are in tough situations. I wallowed in the misery of current world events. The funk was deep, and the dreary weather wasn’t helping.
I ploughed through some wine and chocolate and snuggles with my sister’s puppies before I remembered: the way to get out of a funk is to get into what brings me real joy.
So the next day at Table, I put down the to-do list, stepped out of my office, and sat with one of our community members as she enjoyed a waffle.
Love was her name. And man, she embodies that name! Her joyful presence came to us a few weeks ago, and she’s been a hard worker from the start: carefully signing in, taking on whatever task was most pressing, and not sitting to eat until she felt the cafe was in good order. Waffles, sandwiches, eggs: she tried (and loved) it all! But more importantly, she absolutely loved being a part of the cafe.
Over a plate of hot waffles, Love told me, “Maggie, I’ve been homeless for years. I was homeless as a child and have been in and out of it for my whole life. It’s not new to me. What is new to me is a place like this. I’ve never seen such a place and never felt so much love. I’ve never felt a part of something so special. The warmth you all have going on, the hugs, the food...it is amazing. I am moving soon, to be closer to family, but man--I am most sad about leaving this cafe. Raleigh was alright, but A Place at the Table is what has changed my mind about everything.”
Y’all, she found love here. She found a welcoming table, a meaningful contribution, and a beautiful community. Love found us...she found you, readers.
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still believe it to be a beautiful place.
Finally, finally, the sun is back this week. Of course, the rain and dark will eventually seep in again. That’s what they do. But Love will be my reminder not to let my bitterness and the world’s pain speak louder than the beauty we get to build and enjoy each day.
Thank you, Love.