Wednesday, November 07, 2012


(photo description: portrait of three men with Down Syndrome, Paul and Stephen sitting and Ioan standing.)

While weekending at the Mill, we had three young fellows drop by. They brought a Welsh cake to eat, we made Canadian Hot Chocolate. It was simply a nice visit and a very social time of laughter and sharing. At one point Ioan asked Joe and I how we liked our time at the Mill. I started talking about the accessibility of the room and demonstrated my ability to get around the kitchen and dining room. Ioan looked a bit disappointed with my answer so he asked again, "No, how does it feel to be here?"

Now that is a much different question.

I said I needed to think a bit about that answer. I asked him how it felt to him.

He paused, thought and said. "It feels .. safe."

The others agreed.

"It's good to have somewhere you can come and just be safe."

Like Stephen, Paul and Ioan had attended the bullying workshop that had been offered a few days before. Like Stephen they talked about bullying past, and bullying present. It was nice to have this haven away from the world. It was nice to just be able to be yourself without fear of harm or hurt.

I told Ioan that he was right, I did feel safe there. I felt that when I came there I was invited to simply 'be' and that there was room to be different.

We then all spoke a lot about difference and how intolerant people could be.

But, as if we all agreed that we didn't want to dwell on anything more than how it felt to be here, now. So we chatted about Canadian Hot Chocolate and Welsh cakes. We debated the difference between Marks and Spencer Jam and any other kind of jam. Those of us who preferred Marmalade abstained from the heated discussion and simply sipped on our drinks.

It's wonderful how free people laugh when people feel free.


Anonymous said...

Nice post! You have me curious, what is Canadian Hot Chocolate?! I love hot choc, and would welcome a new version! Thanks

Jayne Wales said...

I know the guys just loved it with the whipped cream too!
They just loved their time with you both and keep talking about it. Even better...telling others!

Nan said...

I love the photos of this place. It looks so warm and cozy.

Rickismom said...

Read this post after the previous one. Restores hope......