There are so many amazing stories about today. The first day.
I could tell you about seeing Andrea for the first time in over 20 years and how her laugh sounded exactly the same as when we were twelve. I could tell you about the c-clamps and the wood glue and Mr. Moore patiently building the Little Free Library. I could tell you about how bright red the ribbon was on the new library and how hot the sun was and how blue the sky looked behind the Flatirons. I could tell you about Maya and Eric and dragons with marshmallow hearts. I could tell you about Jeff who is afraid of dying first and Valerie who wants to commit to writing her novel and Amy who gifted us space. I could tell you about the tiny books that people made and the dogs that lolled at our feet and the way it felt to be writing poetry next to a row of bicycles waiting to be ridden.
Or I could tell you about the woman who appeared out of nowhere and the words she urgently threw at me. Words about abuse and blood money and the loss of her children and her new life in a shelter. Her anger was a confusing boil under her tongue and she spit it at me and then walked away. I was stunned, until I understood the weight of her trust. I understood that her words were a gift, too.
Wow. She got it all. She really did. And maybe, if I had anything to add, it would be the feeling of stepping onto the pedals those first few seconds on Iris Court, making the turns and weathering the small bumps on the road to Community Cycles. Or no, before that even, getting ready earlier that morning, organizing our various and sundry things (signs, books, business cards, 3 tiny traveling libraries), the busyness in this house, the sense of purpose and potential, how all of us - me and Amy, Stef, Grace, and Jerry, and Catherine - found the task that suited us best and did it, wordlessly, until everything that needed to be in the car was in the car, and the water bottles were filled and the chalkboard was chalked up and the typewriters were strapped into the Burley. But before all that, the cup of coffee on the living room couch, how it was like taking a deep breath before taking the big dive, and how I want to have that kind of moment every day, how necessary that space is, how nutritive, this intimacy and quiet and fullness before the day disassembles and inevitably empties it. There is such peace in that, and it doesn't have to be coffee and it doesn't have to be a living room and it doesn't even have to be morning. But it has to be something that's yours and no one else's, a pocket of time, a few square inches of room that you can claim and feel absolutely certain that claiming it is exactly what you are supposed to do. I will tell you that everything else blooms out of that space, and what makes it possible for the biking to happen and the library-building to happen and the poems and everything else that lives between here and there. For me, this morning, it was that coffee, that couch cushion, that deep breath like a hand on my shoulder telling me it would all be okay.
Today was a very good day. It really was. And I am so thankful for everyone who came and helped to make it as magical - and real - as I'd imagined.