FEEDING EACH OTHER
Our normal routine is to work from about 7AM to 2AM (yes, AM) : cooking food for 1400 with Hot Food Idomeni, loading the truck, then off to the barracks or camp to serve it, packing and cleaning, meeting refugees and hearing their heart wrenching stories, then off on our own delivering things like solar lights, supporting organizations to deliver supplies like wood for fires, or build bucket showers, teaching classes at one school, and then another, traveling around the city making purchases with donations, finding the best sources, loading and delivering them, we run and run around the city trying to do so much in such a short time, we often don't have even 5 minutes to pause until we eat a quick meal and reach home around 10pm and then work on sorting photos and writing blog posts and making expense reports, tallying receipts, making tough decisions and organizing the next day and all of the million details of behind the scenes running of an international NGO that most people never see until we collapse into bed around 2am to sleep for just a few hours. Tonight Megan cooked a dinner for our team. We sat around a proper table in her airbnb, and said a prayer of thanks for this beautiful warm meal, health and friends, safety, the donors whose funds we are using to help so many, electricity and hot showers, the earth and each other.
Afterward, as we were walking home under the lamps on the cobblestone streets of Skadarlija, I noticed a certain warmth and a quiet filling my cells. I turned my attention toward it to investigate. An innocent happiness was spreading through my entire being, sweetness, connection and joy.
This simple act of sharing a meal with my kind and generous friends had created a profound peace.
As I let myself sink into the lightness, of course my heart turned to the meals we give out every day with your donations and the beautiful, impossibly brave people we serve and serve with.
When we serve a warm meal, it is so much more than sustenance for the body. When shared with love, it is sustenance for the heart and soul. It gives us all the strength to go on in this wild world. For a moment, we can stop the whirlwind of life and say - I am here, sharing this moment with you, I care, we are in this together, you are not alone. We are united by our common humanity, our common rumbling bellies and spirits. We may not know how the story goes or why, but we are in it together.
This is the food that gives us the strength to go on.
In every moment we are feeding each other. The question is: what? Are we feeding each other impatience, competition, fear, hate? Are we turning away and starving each other? Or are we feeding each other kindness, love, a smile, a touch of the hand, patience, understanding, hope?
And the most beautiful thing is, when we feed each other, we feed ourselves as well.
Loving you all so much tonight. Thank you for feeding me.