Community Lunch at Shekina Garden

It is lovely to be back home after adventures in the USA recently. Good to be back among my community, good to be back into our weekly rhythms. I do well with spontaneity in my life, but also with some good habits and rhythms and regular things that happen each week.

This week was my first week back cooking for Community Lunch. I head out to the market in the morning and enjoy loading up my scooter with lots of fresh vegetables - this week I made Magic Orange Soup, named by Isaac, which is full of pumpkin and potato and carrot - and fresh bread. The ladies at the market enjoy seeing how much produce I can stack on my scooter.

I get to the Garden, open up the kitchen, turn the fan on full blast, load up a podcast (this week was Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam to begin with) and get chopping.

A little way into cooking, I get a message from Winnie that the funeral of the beloved Rachel Held Evans, who passed away just recently, is on YouTube. At first I feel hesitant to watch the funeral of a stranger, but then I re-read Winnie’s message: ‘I’m a mess, there are tears in the cake batter, but Jesus is so stinking beautiful.’ It is enough to make me turn it. on. Soon enough I am a mess too, crying into the soup as I listen to family and friends pour out their love, honouring Rachel and turning my eyes to Jesus.

I finish the soup, butter 5 loaves of bread, chop more veggies for a fresh salad with Japanese dressing and do some quick dishes. Other folks have come and swept and mopped the salaah, set out cushions to sit on, bowls to eat out of, and fresh water. Someone is playing slide guitar. Friends are starting to arrive and kids are running in and out of the kitchen, everyone greeting each other, hugging, catching up. Some tears, some shared words about the beautiful sad funeral and other life stuff.

Eventually we are ready to eat. We introduce our space to newcomers, telling people that all we do here is just an overflow of love that we have received form the Divine and want to splash around. We sing. We give thanks. We eat!

And the afternoon goes on, gypsy jazz music, kids playing, good chats about deep things and fun silly things. Our dear Reillys are up for the weekend, so we make sure to squeeze them extra tight and enjoy seeing them back in the circle, feeling so normal and natural and a bit sad because it isn’t the norm these days, since they moved to Chiang Mai.

Dishes are washed, little kids play with the hoses in the hot afternoon. Older kids embrace being hot and sweaty and hold push-up and sit-up competitions! Chai and cake is served. We have a Sharing Circle, answering the question “Are you happy?”, which can be as simple or as deep as you would like it to be. Beautiful people share their hearts together.

Ahh, it is good to be back.

Here are a few snaps from lunch yesterday. A quick comment on the last one - if you sneakily take my phone to take dozens of silly selfies, you may just end up with one of them on the Community Blog! :)

(a post by Ro)

(a post by Ro)