Community

When I am stressed out, I clean. When someone I love is having a hard time, my first reaction is to cook, and then give them what I’ve cooked.

I was telling my aunt how much I have been cooking, cleaning, and baking lately, and she wondered if the tradition of giving food to ill and/or grieving families was a Scottish thing. She assumes sometimes that everything even remotely noble in our impulses is a direct result of our Scottish ancestry, like our low, flat butts and inability to tan.

I explained how I didn’t think it was a case of genealogy, but that people who have experienced loss know what to do. Their neighbours and loved ones filled their freezers, did their dishes, made their beds, when tragedy struck them. Then, when they saw others suffering, they knew what to do.

The work also helps those of us who feel helpless. Doing something is better than doing nothing.

5 Comments to “Community”

  1. By Lumpy G, April 13, 2009 @ 7:00 am

    This is SO true x

  2. By Liz, April 13, 2009 @ 1:26 pm

    Hey, Lumpy. Welcome to MonkeyPants.

  3. By Beth, April 13, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

    Richard said that it seems to him that everyone just knows what to do at times of death or illness, everyone but him. I think you have explained it though. You know what people have done for you, and how much it helped to have others take over the everyday tasks when the world has just dropped out from under you. Maybe he doesn’t know because he’d never experienced the loss before. The other thing I wonder, it seems that it’s the women who carry the secret knowledge of how to deal with crisis through baking.

  4. By Liz, April 13, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

    That’s it, Beth. It happens in communities. Sometimes I think it’s the whole point of being human. Also, I think it tends to run in women because we are, traditionally, the ones who do the day-to-day stuff. We notice what needs to be done, because, by and large, we’re the ones who do it.

  5. By stephanie, April 15, 2009 @ 10:09 am

    When my grandpa died, everyone brought us food. It was like, they needed something to do and we needed something to do. So we accepted the food, and then rearranged the fridge. We were busy, but it was good busy.

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