“Scratch points,” Hospitality, and Holidays

“Scratch points,” Hospitality, and Holidays

“Xenia” is an ancient Greek word relating to hospitality, or “guest friendship,” a command to care for travelers at your door, because any one might be God, or an angel. Some people embody goodness as they walk among us, bringing fresh greens, milk, helping a driver who has locked keys in a car, loaning a snow plow to an eager helper who jumps at the chance to clear a parking lot, fixing what’s broken to keep lights and heat on, or just cheerfully greeting the day’s threshold of possibilities.

These Snow-and-Rain Days are full of examples, with locals turning up to work and others having a place to share company, warmth, and good food. Along with hospitality, we at the General Store think a lot about menus and food creations. In our collective minds is the idea that  There is nothing new under the sun, and therefore nothing needs to start from scratch. On the other hand is the reality that, like a good answer or help, a good recipe or meal is worth continually re-inventing.

All that we humans and other life forms create every day shows us that creativity has many expressions and many stages. We all have ideas, and every creation has a “scratch,” or starting, point, depending upon the frame we choose to study.

Lisa Joyner spent a lot of time and energy planning and producing this year’s Village Holiday Market, along with Heather LaGarde and many others, including the vendors planning and making their products to sell. Those lucky enough to have visited the Market will remember that there was something for everybody: from beautiful woodturning and pottery, jewelry, hats, mittens, scarves, hot sauce, to artwork, soap, and herbal tinctures and teas. Multiple village spaces also represented local farms and Bridge businesses with knowledge to offer, from local economies to body therapies.

The “scratch” point is a mark in time, like the birth of an idea into physical reality, or the day of an event marked on a calendar. But the scratch point too has its history, its context of rippling circles beyond a boundary line. This community values knowing the person who made the product we choose for a gift or add to our everyday use or habitat. We add life to our creation stories when we value conscious creators and their investment of time and energy in a close community.

Whether the Greeks’ hospitality was fueled more by the fear of the gods or from a well of human kindness or decency, our humanity is something to celebrate.

We all have a lot to learn and opportunities abound. We appreciate you and wish you a happy holiday season!