Reflecting on my time away from my “ordinary” routine, I realize that I have encountered extraordinary grace in the random interactions with folk in Corris. These people are no different than most good people anywhere, in so far as they have cultivated a habit of genuine community, where each member helps the others in whatever little way is presented, creating an atmosphere of service that becomes a natural part of village life.
When I dropped my phone in the river, I was immediately given a plastic container full of rice to absorb excess moisture ( it worked!). When the torch on my hubby’s walking stick died someone provided the batteries, without expecting payment.
In another instance, a head popped around the door of the small grocery/coffee shop announcing a trip into town and “Does anyone need me to pick anything up?”
The neighbor, knowing we were using public transport to get about, took us to the seaside, away from the bus route, where we dipped our toes in the ocean.
The invitation to share a traditional Indian meal and the aromatic rice offered over the garden fence.
The pub landlord who passed on mail that had been sent care of the pub for me – always a safe bet! Who also later gave me a garden umbrella to replace the one damaged by high winds at our cottage .
The lady who offered her empty home if we had overflow guests, and her neighbors who took care of her plants and her cat in her absence.
The local man, who on receiving a call that a stranded villager would have to wait 4 hours for roadside assistance for a flat tire, dropped what he was doing and showed up to fix it in 15 minutes.
It was not long before I, too, got into the habit of seeing a need and stepping in, such as when a sudden rush of customers descended on the coffee shop where my impromptu and brief stint as a waitress was welcomed.
Or, when the turnover of guests at the art studio required a team effort to get the rooms ready quickly, so I grabbed the bucket and rags and scrubbed the kitchen floor.
Or, when I greeted the stranger dragging luggage up the hill knowing she was headed to the now spick and span studio.
Nothing spectacular, just ordinary folk doing ordinary little kindnesses for each other, expecting nothing in return, but in so doing creating something exquisitely extraordinary.