Being in Philly

12 Oct

Here I am… in Philadelphia continuing to stretch and grow.  My life is filled with an interesting variety as I find ways to be of service on my journey.  For the past month, I have been living with a busy family in Mt. Airy, a neighborhood in Philadelphia.  It’s a great place to be with plenty of mature trees, historical homes and a progressive outlook.  How lucky I am to have landed in such a good place!  The family I stay with is a couple building their developing business from home while raising two young boys, 4 and 7.

Living in a household with kids is a shift for me!  As someone who has spent many of my recent years in quieter contemplation, the reality of life with children is quite a wake up call.  I live with a family with two beautiful boys.  As the saying goes, when they are good they are very good, but when they are bad… well, I’ll just leave that to your imagination!  It’s been fun to be here and help out with the simple things in their life… doing laundry, organizing cupboards, keeping the kitchen tidy.  I get a quiet satisfaction from helping this busy family get a little more form and structure to their sometimes chaotic life.

Recently I have been enjoying preparing meals for the family.  I like considering what I might cook that night and exploring what food is left in the kitchen to whip something up.  And even better, they appreciate what I am cooking!  That makes it even more fun!

I have been taking stock today of how grateful I am for all of my experiences over this past year and half.  I have learned so much and I can feel each day how much better I feel about myself with my growing confidence of being able to contribute wherever I may be.  It’s fun to feel like I am a part of something… a business, a household, a family, and see the ways I am comfortable and confident participating that, before I left on my journey, I was not.  Much that I have learned is really quite simple like in Germany learning to contribute and be part of a community and paying attention to what needs to be done, even if it’s just preparing  a simple meal for those around you.  In France, I learned how to make a great bed and set a nice table.  I see these little seeds of experience  blossom in my time here in Philadelphia.  For example, today I had the opportunity to do a little work at my host family’s local food co-op, Weavers Way.  I worked for a few hours to help the organization set up for a fundraising dinner.  I showed up to be of service and found myself in charge of decorating and setting the table.  How fun it was to create beautiful centerpieces from the assortment of gourds, leaves and flowers and also great to feel confident that I could set a nice table for them.  It’s the little things, they add up!

Tonight I am on my own for a bit.  The kids are tucked in bed after a post-dinner dance party featuring the boys as glamorous performers.  My host and I each had play money to use to pay admission to the show and then the performance began, with flashlights for spotlights and all.  It’s been a beautiful full day with yoga in the morning, some housework during the day and the co-op shift in the afternoon.  I am fully engulfed in the activity of each day and am amazed at how each experience on this journey fully pulls me in…  I become totally engrossed by what is happening in the here and now.

And…in the here and now I find I am tired after this full day!  A good feeling.  So I suppose I will seek a little rest in my comfy bed in my quiet room on the third floor.  Good night from Philadelphia!

Photo taken from the beautiful countryside in New York State near the Catskill Mountains where my host’s family lives.  I spent last weekend here.  Don’t be fooled by the serenity of this photo.  With 6 children collectively, it was a wild, wild ride.

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