books going home

Published by Walla Walla Valley (WA) ACES Connection
By: Teri Barila

I was honored to be invited to a gathering of neighbors and friends in one of our neighborhoods as they came together to celebrate the holiday season. The traditional practice of the Posada opened the party, with neighbors walking door to door singing the traditional verses asking for shelter, with the neighbors responding, either denying shelter or offering their house, re-enacting Joseph and Mary seeking shelter. The last verse was sung at the location of the party, thus welcoming all in to the dinner meal. I had never experienced the Posada and was grateful for this traditional song and practice.

I was struck by the beauty of the song and by the underlying thought that if we see each other as the unique human we each are, in the diversity of our ideas, values, skin color, gender identity and "neurodiversity" of all being normal differently, according to our lived experiences, that indeed we would welcome each other in to community more readily and with greater authenticity and heart! 

The meal was rich in its variety of offerings too. For me, I learned a new traditional "apple cider" mix of apples, pineapple, guava, tamarind and cinnamon cooked together, sweetened, and served hot, called ponche. It was delicious!

It was an especially joyful moment to be together in community. Children had fun staging photos of themselves as elves (we did too!) and receiving a book from Santa (retired Sheriff office Jim Romine), to take home. Thank you, Commitment to Community outreach organizer Ursula (Delia and Amanda too) for your capacity building and engagement work. 


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