One beautiful thing about working in Parkdale is the sense of tight community. I think Parkdale feels like this in general, and working at the dale has made it even more true for me. Participating in community meals, walking outside for outreach, connecting with so many different people – we start to see and know each other. As a staff, we love walking to the store, walking to get our van, walking to the coffee shop or library… because we see a good handful of people each time and those little connections where there’s no “stuff” given or received or no expectations are the best kinds of little hellos.
On Tuesday, Joanna and I walked through the Parkette to get our van from its parking garage. We were chatting away and in my mind I was thinking of a friend, Samantha. She lives in the building we were passing by, along with a large handful of other community members. It’s hard for her with her aches and pains to get out sometimes, so we don’t see her as much as we used to. I was missing her, and wondering how she was.
Suddenly, I heard a loud yell from above. “Hi, Meagannnnnn!” I looked up to the apartment towering above us and saw Samantha from her 8th floor balcony. She was waving and smiling. “I was JUST thinking about you!” I yelled in return, blowing a kiss up to her. “I love you!” I yelled, not caring how loud I was or who was watching. We had to get going so the exchange was quick, happening all in the span of 5 seconds. “I love you too!” She yelled, blowing me an air kiss back.
And that was it. A little hello. A showing of love. Comfortability. An answer to my prayer that Samantha was okay. Connection. Community. Knowing. Familiar. Family.
I love my work at the Dale. I love relationship building, praying for each other, walking around and knowing people. Each person in their own spot, sitting or panning, each with their own personality. We can walk by and wave, chat, cry, pray, smile, sing, dance, pet dogs and cats, worry, be assured, and so much more. I love the familiar.
I hope you have a pleasant little hello today… they’re the best.
My job with The Dale requires that I fundraise my entire salary! If you would like to support me in my work, visit thedale.org/donate and indicate that your gift is for me. Thank you for your prayers for my work, community, and family. Your support of these ministries is a blessing.