There was a great party at Patchwork on Tuesday. We didn’t send invitations. We didn’t even know it would be happening ahead of time. But part way through the morning you could just feel it.
At first glance, our main room was filled with a very motley crowd. People were drinking coffee and eating some homemade snacks. Some were coming and going from the Bike Shop, getting their bikes repaired. Some were getting food from the food pantry—whether it was a full food order or simply some bread or produce.
But, if you looked more closely you’d find that the room was filled with old friends who were back for a visit and some newcomers learning Patchwork’s routines. There were the coffee guys getting together over a few cups of coffee, and there were some neighbors who just stopped by to chat.
A woman who’d come earlier for a shower sat at a table cleaned, dried, caffeinated, relaxed, and clearly feeling much better. A homeless man whose pet had died over the weekend was counseled in his grief by John. Friends talked or waved to each other across the room.
And through it all, Ricky joyously played the piano. He was among the familiar faces back for a visit. The music swelled and filled the room with beauty. Someone sang. Someone clapped along. A man danced.
As he left, the dancer told Shawn, “The reason why the music just sounds so good here—it blossoms—is because Patchwork has such good energy. You could take the same music somewhere else and it wouldn’t bloom like this.”
By the end of the morning, we’d easily had 60 guests come and go. On top of that we had three volunteers, two interns, and three staff in the building. We’d provided 17 showers, five to women. We’d brewed 16 pots of coffee. As we locked the doors at lunchtime, we all agreed it was a great party.