She sits comfortably at the outdoor wooden table, her profile framed against the red brick wall of her home.
Between taking sips from an oversized mug of herbal tea, she gently invites the person that sits opposite to continue to fumble through their unruly world of thoughts.
It’s about empathy. Listening to the story of another. Listening without presumption or prejudice.
She creates a space where people feel free to share their stories.
The way she talks through her own experiences encourages the teller to probe at their own story.
Accompanied by awareness, and an intuition that sees through anything less than absolute honesty.
It’s the comfort of a safe and familiar space, paired with the care and curiosity of people who have your genuine interest in mind.
She listens with love in her eyes.
We sit on this porch, yarning for hours. We talk of life and love, passion and pain, vices and pleasures. We revel in relationships, marvel in beauty and wonder about the world.
It’s about acknowledging that we are all so different and accepting each other anyway.
She is not my mum; we do not share the same bloodline. She is not my peer; an age difference of more than 20 years exists between us.
However, she’s a short drive away and an assured offer of a cup of tea.
She is a member of the safety net, the community of people looking out for us.
Perhaps you have someone like this in your life.
Or maybe without realising, you have unwittingly become this for somebody else.
Looking beyond our own sphere of self.
Looking out for one another.
Alice Angeloni has been a volunteer at ICEA for many years and is an aspiring writer and journalist. A local gal who grew up by the beach with a grounded Aussie Dad, beautiful Zimbabwean Mum and ocean-loving brother, Ali believes in respecting each others' stories, cultures and experiences.