Friday, March 25, 2011


I used to think of Patchwork as a quilt, particularly the kind that comes out of a hand-me-down box. We all remember the jean patchwork that Beyonce wore. And, there's colorful corduroy patchwork that one hippy culture wears. I, however, have a soft spot for brown, black, leather and heavy, mis-matched patchwork. This patchwork sewed a place in my heart. And, this is a call to these people I met on coincidence one summer night in Jackson, Wyoming. These people were wearing patchwork pants and skirts. They wore heavy, dirt-kicking, black boots and piercings. (Needless-to-say, their appearance didn't give the air that they were approachable.)
These 'kids' were out of gas looking for extra change outside on a corner. I emphasize 'kids' because I know one young girl was 17. The others were between the ages of 18-22. Two boys and two girls. They'd been touring the national parks, and this was their last stop before hitting San Francisco. They looked like they'd been traveling days upon days. And, God knows Jackson is the best place to end up. It's just indescribably beautiful and serene. My friend and I were going to the grocery, and we were already making pizza... we looked at each other, and we saw the same thing.

We were asking them to dinner.

We were asking people that we didn't know to dinner at our house.

We were inviting them into our home to eat.

And. we. did.

They arrived most graciously and promptly. And we made some of the most delicious pizza ever. I asked them about their lives and what they had been doing. Hence, I discovered all the aforesaid.

Before sharing the meal, whilst I was still preparing dinner. We offered them to shower (those who know me know I always have clean towels and blankets.) They happily accepted.

The younger of the boys, tossed our traditional pizza crust, and helped us make the pizzas. (He'd worked at a pizza joint before heading west.)

We broke bread.

I learned that the seventeen year old girl had no family. She was going to study art in San Francisco. She'd been alone awhile it seemed. Her friend didn't talk very much, but she was very appreciative of all things hospitable. And, she was verbal about that. The older guy was very cool- from San Francisco and had just been traveling around listlessly.

Now, I did not get a background of the relationships to one another or how they'd met. I just wanted to know them. I was drawn to them as a collective. One thing was obvious though, this young man was the brains. They'd camped, slept in the car, and traveled the whole summer. Jackson is where'd they had run dry. He shared some honey they had picked up along the way, and it was mellow in flavor and feeling. It was delicious and sweet.

We knew the night was coming to an end, and we swapped email addresses. We promised that if we were in each other's city we'd catch up. I never sent nor received an email. I did wish them all the best in the remainder of their travels... and again, they were most gracious of our kindnesses.

Sadly, I don't remember any of their names. And, I haven't thought of them in a long while. I was driving home from Tennessee, and their faces came up with their patchwork clothing. I thought of that night and the sweet, sweet time we shared. We gave them the bare necessities and the humblest of things: food, shower, beverage, and smiles.

I cried. I cried because it was so wonderful. I cried because I wish this was the way of the rest of the world.

I thought: I want a revolution. I want all the people who love...WHO LOVE... to love each other. I want you to love someone you don't even know.

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