I hear Libby’s voice in my head right after the interaction that got me excited. I hear her talking about her Powerpoint slides and telling us about the stages of belonging. And I’ve just moved stages. It’s the tiniest little bit of a change but I know it’s there, and I recognise it so it matters.
Tae hee and his wife knew me as a regular customer the last two times I went in to get fish and chips. I don’t get there as often as I’d like, but still maybe once a week, once every 2 weeks.
Last night we stopped by to get fish and chips and a hot coffee and marvel at the sunset. Marvel at how we were sitting on our favourite beach after spending the afternoon up the mountain. And I looked through some of the books on the bookshelf, but this time she offered me a recommendation.
“Do you like to read novels?…” she tentatively began. “Oh yes! I love a good novel!” was my joyous reply. She scanned through the titles and handed me one that was by a Korean author translated into English. It fit perfectly into my hand. I offered my most recent finished book out of my bag to add to the collection and she accepted. I had been trying to find a place that would appreciate it and pass it on.
Baby steps. Again running my hand across the cover I express how excited I am to read what she has recommended to me. I venture… “I’ll read a little bit each time and remember where I’m at for the next time when I come back.”
“Oh no!” she smiles. “You can borrow it. Take it with you and bring it back next time!”.
” 감사합니다!” I say and bow forward slightly…. Kamsamnida. Thank you.
And then I hear Libby’s voice in my head. Belonging. Known. Something as simple and as precious as a book being borrowed to you from the owners of your favourite beach front Fish and Chips Cafe. For such a transient world I live in, this is beautiful trust.