On a day when I had asked myself – on my way to Alternative Grounds – “Why am I doing this every morning?” I received the answer yet again – large.
At 7 a.m., I had a moving and inspiring conversation with another customer – one that no doubt impacted me forever*. Hours after I left, I was still thinking about it.
And at the end of the day, attending a fund-raiser there for the Kennel Café – which had burned, losing three cats – I had the anwer again.
Ali and Amy, two lovely, creative young women who work there, had never before organized an event like this, but reached out to their networks of musically creative friends and others in the community, to create a memorable event. Performers ranged from young, brilliant ‘next-generation’ musicians like The Danger Bees (who could easily replace The Barenaked Ladies/Arrogant Worms, etc.) to traditional folk-musicians like Bill Heffernan who has led many a creative sing-along at Gate 403, and a moving, poetic musician called Chris Levoir who is normally part of a rock group but pitched in for this event.
This is a very alive community of caring people, who take action when they see a need, enthusiastically enabled and supported by owner Linda Burnside. They are a big cast of tremendously varied characters, warm, open-minded. The simple and obvious answer to why I come here most mornings, is that I never know what nourishing or inspiring experience I am going to have – which probably would not happen anywhere else.
*about which I will write at www.thinkinganddreaming.ca