Gratitude in old clothes
I found myself grinning as I stepped out of the doorway of the Old Crow Coffee House into the blustery night. As I walked I looked back over the evening, noting each gratitude. The space. The people gathered. The event.
Finn’s friend Andie had organized a clothing swap. A theatrical lighting designer by trade, she is someone who cares deeply about a just world and endeavours to live intentionally to that end. More than clothing, this was a political and community social event.
The coffee shop had offered space for the swap in their back room. Andie welcomed everyone with an acknowledgement to the Qayqayt First Nations on whose unceded territory we were gathering. The good-will entrance fee was to be donated to the Coast Protectors and the legal fund for those arrested for standing against the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.
Andie had collected clothing, and other goods, for months. People were invited to take as much as they wanted, whether they had brought anything to swap or not. All leftover donations would be taken to Big Brothers with a tax receipt to the high school music program. This was a pre-Christmas invitation to get out of the malls, to “shop” thrift, to re-use and recycle. It was both gathering and anti-consumerist activism.
I think that all parents must have moments of imagining what they want to offer their children. I imagined a renaissance household, a salon around the dinner table bantering into the night on big ideas, political discourse, humour and life. And Finn on the edges, eagerly listening to good natured argument and eventually joining in. He would get to know musicians, politicians, poets and anarchists.
As I walked home I ran through the litany of blessings. My grateful heart gave thanks that in fact my child sits at many tables with artists and activists, people who are engaged, outspoken, funny and creative. But in a glorious twist, these are his friends, people he has exposed me to, not the other way around.
The pre-Christmas time of Advent is seen as a time of awaiting the coming hope. This evening spoke to me of hope fulfilled. Blessed be.
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