million steps – day twenty nine – fruit and football

The early morning walk this morning set me up for a very busy day.  I needed to buy fruit before breakfast so changed my walk in order to call at the supermarket on the way home. It made a nice change.  I walked through the shopping streets and along a busy enough road, for a minute there was no traffic and I was amazed to hear so much bird song, just shows what is hidden behind the noise of everyday life.

Anyway fruit was purchased and I made my way the last quarter of a mile towards home. Again carrying a heavy bag I was reminded of how much weight I used to carry with me all the time, at least this burden is put down once I get home.

The rest of the day was busy, big changes in our little shop meant moving lots of heavy items around.  This is something I would not have been able to do just three months ago. Eventually it is done and it is time to pop home to get ready to go out.

When a football club invites you to talk about your charity there are a number of things you may well expect to happen.  It is a function, in a club bar.  There are over a hundred and fifty people there.  What I didn’t expect was to be in such a welcoming and nurturing space.  The walls are decked with banners, they read:  Football has no gender, We are all immigrants, refugees welcome.  It is an extraordinary place.  It is run mostly by men, who all decided that they wanted to do football differently.  And that is what they do.  We were made so welcome and our talk went down really well.  The rest of the evening was great fun too.

It taught me a lesson. Once again I was forced to acknowledge how my preconceptions can be so far off the mark.  My colleague who was with me commented on the way home how the evening felt very much like an evening we attended at a Church Fellowship.  I knew exactly what she meant.  That night was run by women of a certain age, who made tea, sold items and listened equally attentively to our talk.  They also welcomed us and were interested in what we do.  So very different and yet so much alike.

I suppose the lesson I take away is that kindness is everywhere.  People reach out to help and support from every area of life.  The clever trick is to make sure you are open to see what is around.  From birdsong behind the traffic noise, to warmth on a football pitch, it is there if you look for it.

By the end of the night, and it was a late one, I had clocked up over 16,000 steps towards my million steps.  Today was a good day.

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