This lovely post has been brought to you by regular volunteer, and new blogger (to TLC anyway!), Ray:
I have two new friends. They’re twins, aged three. We got together over that most simple and timeless of things, paying catch and throw with a ball, on the grass.
I’m 58, but inside me there’s still a three-year-old and during that game he re-surfaced for a few moments. The delight on the faces of his play-mates made him glad of an airing.
I’ve helped out at ToastLoveCoffee for a few Wednesdays now. I do the simple stuff, cleaning the floor and the loo, washing up, pouring coffee and serving cake. I chose to get involved because I’ve done OK in life and I wanted to ‘put something’ back into the world.
I grew up on a rough council estate just to the south of London but I’ve distanced from my roots. I live in a nice house, run a car and have a few quid saved. Part of me wished to reconnect: maybe I felt almost guilty of becoming too posh, of forgetting what it’s like to be hard-up.
Many of those that pop in for a drink and food have their origins overseas, but they’ve left family and all else that’s familiar to come here in the hope of something better. Once arrived, they’ve found homes, schools for their children and friends.
It’s hard going when they have the many differences of a new land to contend with. So it is good that TLC is there to offer friendship and food, a bit of respite in otherwise challenging lives.
And whatever we can give to others – and get back – often comes most powerfully in the smallest of actions. Like playing ball with two small and lovely kids, on the grass and in the sun.
Sometimes, catch-and-throw with friends can be the best thing in the world.