Our local park we like to frequent held a little festival this weekend promoting equitable commerce, reduction of inequalities, education, peace, and cultural respect. Booths from Cambodia, the Caribbean, Africa, and more were brimming with artisanal wares, authentic cuisine, and native clothing. The rhythms of African drumming, southeastern Algerian, and traditional Flamenco music coupled with the essence of fresh fatayas, empanadas, and dorowat accompanied our stroll through the park. All varieties of folks were partaking in the sun filled festivities, eating exotic dishes, drinking my new favorite ginger pineapple juice, and swaying to the music. Friends gathered to share the experience, multiple families looking after each other’s children as if they were their own, staking a portion of the shady grass to repose and enjoy.
I ran into new friends from the bike shop, discussing cultures, and observations over a beer. How wonderful this realization of having friends and being a part of this community is. I spent some time with several of Collin’s friends from school. One young fella who comes from Bangladesh wrote me a note wishing me a good life in his native language, Bengali. It is a piece of art in itself and now adorns my bedroom wall. A treasure that will return with me for sure.
I remember when I first arrived not understanding most of what was said, yet comprehending the messages behind a mothers scolding look, or a lovers wink. Throughout the weekend there were all sorts of universal messages conveyed as different languages were spoken, meals served, and goods exchanged with a smile. I witnessed one little guy, about three years old. He was so terrified of a curious dog that he completely wrapped himself in a stranger’s legs seeking safety. I think the point of this festival was perhaps to open ones eyes in hopes of gaining respect for the differences amongst us all, creating a respectful awareness. Which to a degree I’m sure it did. Yet, in my point of view, rather than the separation being the focus, more importantly, it reinforced unity. At least of my understanding of the ever-present universal thread that connects us all, of our vibrant synchronicity.
I hope this finds you all feeling peacefully connected.
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