Kelly walked over to our table at The Bog, where we were having dinner, and handed me a $50 bill. “It’s from Gail,” she said, “for your trip to India,” and pointed to the table where Gail had been sitting, that was now empty. I wasn’t sure if I knew her. I may have recognized her if I had seen her, but she was already gone.
Just a few weeks before when we were at The Bog, Jon handed Kelly, who waits tables there, an envelope with checks and cash, he had collected from the readers of his blog, to help her pay her Vet bill. Now Kelly was passing me money from one of her customers.
It was Dahn Gandell, the minister I’ll be travelling with to India, who got me thinking of how money gets passed around in this way. When she asked me to make potholder for her to take to Tanzania with her to give as gift to her friends there, I told her I was unsure about her buying them from me. That maybe I should be donating them or charging her less than I usually would.
That’s when she said that she believed that money was best when it moved around. She buys the potholders from me and I’ll pass that money on to someone else.
I liked that idea, because it’s not about accumulating money or things but about an organic flow of money and goods. It’s an exchange that feels good to everyone involved.
So when I wanted to send thank you notes to everyone who wrote me a letter and mailed me a donation for my trip to India, I thought of Carol Conklin’s note cards. Each one a small gift in itself, prints of her mystical batiks. Carol could use the money I would be giving her for her notecards as much as I could use the money Dahn gave me for my potholders.
Just passing the money along.
Carol just happened to be coming through Cambridge the day after I messaged her about the cards. So we met and made the exchange. It seemed meant to be.
I started writing the Thank You’s this weekend.
I sat at the dining room table and opened each letter, reading the message for the second time. I’m in a different head then when I first read them. Now I’m able to take in all the kind and thoughtful words, and let them fill me up, experiencing a new view of myself. One where I’m simply thankful and appreciative of the love and support I’m receiving.
And I’m also able to write back to each person, knowing their money is going to be passed along, in one form or another, through me, to the women I’ll be working with and meeting in Kolkata. And with it will come the good will that’s also moving between us all.