The work of the world is common as mud.
Because I'm tired of antiheroes, because I'm tired of bad comedy, because I'm tired of fake romance, because I'm just tired, we've been watching a lot of Great British Bake-Off lately. It makes me feel better about bad things when I see people helping each other, encouraging each other, even in the midst of competition. It seems so unfathomably rare to see people caring whether others do well, instead of just fighting to win at all costs.
We're on vacation this week, staying with G's parents again, and while sometimes I chafe at the fact the being far away from both of our families means that all our vacation time get spent on visiting, this house has become a home to me. This family is my family. Yesterday we were in Lunenburg for a family event and in the course of about twenty minutes I went from minor aura to full-blown migraine, and every one of the 20 or so adults on site stopped what they were doing and scrambled around trying to find me a dose of naproxen so I could at least manage the ride home in relative comfort. I felt cared for.
One of the things I have loved about living in Canada is that the circle of care is so much wider than what I grew up with. America's circle of care is drawn very, very tight. Canada's is far from all-encompassing; like many countries with strong social infrastructure, the circle doesn't always extend fully to people of color, indigenous communities, immigrant populations, and other marginalized people. The edges are porous and many people drift in and out of the circle depending on which aspect of their identity becomes most relevant. The work is not finished, but the fact remains that the circle is wider. Once I was outside it, and now I'm inside, and being inside is good. I would like to bring everyone inside with me.
In a world where Donald Trump is on the news every day no matter where you live, the idea that the circle can still be expanded rather than restricted feels unlikely. But this week I've also seen Olympic gymnasts supporting one another and cheering each other on when they do well, and just like bakers helping each other salvage an underbaked trifle, it's a reminder that while changing the world is an insurmountable task, and there is a tremendous number of lives needing protection, changing the life of a single person can be remarkably easy. More often than not, you've just gotta show up.
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