the kindness of strangers


Some of you know that Bo and I are quite isolated at the moment. We came out here to this little town to stay with my mother to welcome little Bo into the world. We knew no one. And then this most amazing thing happened. A door opened up and we were embraced by a little part of the community lead by one pretty special woman.

For the three weeks after Bo was born three days a week someone would knock on my door at 5pm and deliver me a delicious, warm, home cooked meal complete with desert. A complete stranger would cook me food, just because they wanted to and I was (and still am to this day) so grateful. I was new-mummy tired, post-birth sore, waddling around the house unable to sit, unable to stand, unable to talk in two-syllable words… I was a wreck in all the lovely (and not so lovely) new-mummy ways… and instead of having to worry about what I was going to cook on those three glorious nights a week, someone did it for me. A complete stranger did it for me.


This group of women (and men because lets face it Men can cook too) call themselves a “cooking circle” – they are an incredible cross section of the community who have raised their hands and said  “pick me, I will do it, I will cook for someone, anyone who needs it.” And that’s it. When someone needs a bit of a helping hand… say they’ve had a baby, they are sick, they’re grieving… someone organises a cooking schedule and tehn a community flurry occurs and cooking begins.

I was delivered healthy, delicious food that filled my belly and kept me strong when I was learning how to stay afloat in this unfamiliar world of motherhood.

Let’s face it, food heals. I’m not talking about emotional eating your way through three liters of vanilla ice cream followed by an entire ham and pineapple pizza kind of “healing.” I’m talking about the way good homemade, wholesome food does something to your body, to your mind. Chicken soup for the soul… it’s out there… it was on my menu of postpartum love and it was delicious.

I was amazed by the generosity of complete strangers and truly humbled by the gift that these people gave me as I learned to nurse, learned to love, learned Bo.

I’m about to move back to this tiny village on the edge of the world and it makes me sad that I wont get to give back to this community who gave me so much of their good food loving. But I know that I will take it with me, and that some day down the track I will start my own cooking circle and I will give it back to a whole new community of strangers… pay it forward.

Isn’t it wonderful when you have almost lost faith in the Western World, when you begin to doubt the spirit of the masses, when everyone becomes lost in a screen and desensitised to each others needs – when people seem to only take and never give – then you see a glimmer of hope amongst it all… Why not start one today? Take a meal to someone who needs it for no other reason than that they need it. Turning food back into pure life giving goodness.

Let good food heal again 🙂

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  • April 13, 2012 - 10:26 am

    generosity of strangers - Reblogged this on generosity of strangers and commented:
    I came across this touching story the other day. When I read it I said “yes, this expresses my sentiment exactly…what a wonderful example of the “generosity of strangers.” Enjoy! ReplyCancel

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