Sunday, October 14, 2012
When I first arrived in Sydney and was desperately lonely and I'm sure, a little depressed, I'd have days go by where apart from a fleeting conversation or two with my local butcher or fruit shop people, I would have talked to no one during school hours older than 3 years old. We'd laugh at how I pronounced "mince" (and I'm sorry but it is not spelt meeence) or they'd explain what "Two-up" is, or I'd simply ask what apples were best at the moment, or that yes please, I'll have the bread sliced thanks. At the end of my first year, with a friendship or two safely in my clutches, I did a trip to my local shops at Christmas with a box of chocolates for each of them. This wasn't about christmas, it was just about unwittingly throwing me a life line when I needed it, and making me feel less lonely, and making me feel more normal. And that part was really important to me. I wanted to feel the same as everyone else.
Every day we have an people in our community we brush up against, they don't know our stuff and we don't know theirs. They make our coffees, they put our rolls in a bag, find us a bunch of coriander, or slice our ham. They are our everyday people. They see people like me who was lonely, or people who are sick, or people who are sad, or people who have just received good news. And we may share a little of us in the few fleeting minutes as they're weighing our sausages, but not enough for them to judge us. They are safe people who are so much part of our everyday life that we don't even notice they are.
My local bakery has a few thai girls who serve and do a roaring coffee trade. They are always smiling, always up, always efficient. The other morning, while waiting, I actually took notice of them. They remembered people coffee preferences, they all crowded around a little girl in her dads arms who had a stamp to show them on her hand, they pulled a snake out of a lolly jar for another little boy they knew, they chatted and brought a little sunshine into that bakery. I left feeling all warm.
It's the safeness and reliability of everyday people that makes gives them a special place in our world. Because sometimes you just need some normal and some predictability to make you feel normal.
Who are your everyday people?
I dedicate this to Jamie and Russell at the butchers, Maggie and Vince at the fruitshop, and the girls in the bakery...of course.