Finally, couple of months of planing made way to our first Karma Kitchen in the heart of the bay - Hayward. It was a beautiful Sunday, a sunny day after a long week of stormy weather with lightning and thunder, I feel it was natures way of expressing it's joy for launching Karma Kitchen in Hayward in collaboration with Snappy's cafe a small warm cozy place, located in the downtown Hayward.
Thank you KK-Berkeley for unconditional support, guidance and everything else :-) to make this happen in this part of the world. Everyone who came in the doors yesterday were filled with positive energy, it almost felt like a marriage hall in India, where everyone was excited about the new beginning, making everyone feel at home even though we were at the cafe! We all met in the cafe rolled up our sleeves and got to work as soon we entered the cafe, rearranging the tables, setting up gift table with many beautiful gifts for our guests, writing the menu out on the white board.
Afternoon started with a circle of sharing our intention for being at the Karma Kitchen, the words that were heard were Trust, Intention, Support, Community , Abundance, Family, Courage, Impact and Gratitude to the cafe for having the open mind to experiment with some thing as crazy as Karma Kitchen concept. We also had our first guest join in our circle, It was truly special for all of us.
A long time well-wisher while reflecting on her experiences being in the space co-created by core volunteers who are all connected through community projects (such as Yoga for all, Healthy Cooking etc) expressed a poignant note. She said - "the other day I was having conversation with a co-worker, and happen to discuss the community events in Hayward, the co-worker immediately responded that Hayward isn't a desirable neighborhood at all for people like us for it's issues with litter, homelessness, gang violence, poverty etc." Our well-wisher steps up by showing her presence, after witnessing the "Be the change" events such as KK launch, Infinite Vision, Community Garden & Community Yoga projects encouraged us to keep walking this path patiently & persistently with absolute courage & conviction. This community needs it the most.
We had a very natural flow of mostly local people in the cafe, some of the reflections from our guests and volunteers:
A teacher was so thrilled that she would love all her students to be part of the Karma Kitchen, she was celebrating the beautiful day at Karma Kitchen with her mom and aunt, they were blown away with the generosity that they experienced and they now want to be part of it every month.
A student of language was so delighted that he now wants to visit all the other Karma Kitchen and be part of it.
This was absolutely necessary in Hayward as this town does not have a good image as other places in east bay, and it is only known as a place not to go to.
One said it felt like a historical event and they just couldn't miss this one! & loves be part of it in future.
There are people who really want to serve others and Karma Kitchen really facilitates that and so it's absolutely necessary that Karma Kitchen grows and they would help to keep it sustainable.
The gift table just blew them away and they were so touched by the anonymous gifts that they were being tagged with, and also promised to spread it around.
A DailyGood moment: Co-ordinator in our local library (who was instrumental in organizing the Infinite-Vision Documentary screening, book reading in a group and Author (Pavi) Live event) was kind to honor our invite & joined KK launch. She walked in as DailyGood co-ordinators were leaving Snappy's, tags Pavi with a copy of book A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster. Authored by another brilliant local bay area author who will also be hosted live in our community soon as part of California Reads literacy program. The conversation that followed the tag has opened to the possibility of a DailyGood article soon on this author & her work .Beautiful to see all these interconnected ripples emerging from this space.
Initially employees were little hesitant to join the begining circle but we could clearly see the transformation that had already happened by the end of the afternoon, as we see them come by and sit with us in the closing circle and share their smiles and gratitude with us.
It was such a beautiful feeling that we all walked out with. No words will make justice to that feeling!
And the photo to add more to the fun :-)
Image courtesy : Karma Kitchen.org