From the ground up
Building a home from the ground up was enlightening. You could never understand the joy that comes with creating something so profoundly palpable, until you do it with your own hands. When you rise up with the morning sun, put on your soggy work gloves, and hop onto the open back truck, and drive to the work site. The sense of pride you have, despite your aching back. Because with every shovel full of gravel and concrete that you extract from earth, you are painfully aware of how you are breaking ground both literally and figuratively. It’s a good ache. When you see the smiles and hope illuminating the community, you will understand the real joys of life. You will feel yourself overwhelmed by waves of tears as you hand over the keys to a pristine new home. The world really is a beautiful place.
So now I am back at home, in Hamilton, Ontario. I am realizing that I have to find a way to resume things from where I left off before the build. I am forcing myself to go through the dull motions of everyday life. I am sitting in a classroom watching the clock, waiting to go home and check my Facebook or whatever. But now I realize that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Everyday life at home does not have to be this dull and lonely existence. I can LiveDifferent. I have the option to consciously live meaningfully and deliberately. To love selflessly and openly. I can learn from my experiences on the build. I can make the most of the privileges that I have here in Canada. I can be a global citizen. I can be a strong woman.
And yeah, maybe I can’t just physically pick up a shovel and start building a home from the ground up myself on my street. But what I can do is just try to build myself and the people around me a strong and hopeful community to exist in. Pick up the proverbial shovel, and illuminate the world and everything I am presented with, with nothing but a bold smile- and an open heart.
Because at the end of the day there are two ways of spreading light — to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. And I think I’m about ready to start spreading some light.
– Jessie, LiveDifferent Volunteer