Wednesday, December 09, 2009

creating sub-cultures

Yesterday was a national holiday in Spain.
Everything was closed;
except for the coffee shops. They always stay open.
those are the best days to go; we run into everybody on those days.
so yesterday, after the morning madness of eating breakfast and getting dressed, we packed up our books and our coloring pencils and took the five minute walk down the street to our pasteleria - - our local coffee shop. We settled down at our table; the man at the table behind us passed us the newspaper when he finished it (it's common coffee shop courtesy). We flipped through that and then passed it on to the person at the table next us, then got out the pencils and colored for a while.Then we read the very last chapter of The Return of the King. (and cried a little bit because, as Malachai said - - it was a very sad ending and now the book is over)
and Maite walked by our table to talk to Selma and Malachai about the dinosaurs they were coloring, and Josu noticed that the abuela came in to buy her bread.
"say hi, Josu " I poked him "you know how that makes the abuela feel loved!" He called out and waved.
then Ana came in;
Malachai was swept off his chair and into Joshua's lap
"sit down , sit down" we insisted (she never takes much convincing)
almost as soon as she did, Gabriella came in with her baby boy to buy bread
Selma was whisked into my lap
"come and join us" we called "come on, come on!" (she's harder to convince)
"ok" she said, "but just for a minute!"
as she slipped into the seat,
Mar walked by . . . .

and it was this magical moment of
and belonging,
and of welcoming in those around us,
and I was reminded of how we are capable of actually creating a sub-culture of friendliness and inclusion within the routines of our daily lives. Our pasteleria has really been the the heart of that for us in our neighborhood; I wonder where you guys may be creating those sub-cultures within your communities?

p.s. look at what my clever kid can do:


Gabrielle said...

oh i miss the coffee shop...

darcie said...

this is such a compelling post, Naomi-really, there is something unique about that coffee shop culture. . .I was talking to Lindsey and Josiah about your post (we are in Memphis for the weekend) and then we took the puppy to the dog park-I thought, there is a "dog park" culture-getting to know the owners of the dogs who frolic routinely together at the park! And how about me? I have a new neighbor across the street, a friendly family-a neighborhood is a sub-culure, and I suppose that's what you have at the neighborhood coffee shop. And by the way, Papi says the end of the Trilogy is just a little bit sad, but he thinks it's a good ending. . .much love

Naomi Smith said...

oh yes . . . dogs! we cross paths with that sub culture all the time!