By Gloria Celestial
Today is another beautiful, warm, sunny day. The delta breeze has brought fresh clean air and its joyful to be here. I have decided it would be fun to have a picnic at Victory Park and play volleyball. We brought our equipment with us from the farm in Monroe and I know it will be great to play.
I call the other houses and everyone agrees to picnic. Every house comes up with a contribution to the dinner. I’m making old- fashioned potato salad the new- fashioned way with no eggs or mayonnaise. I get out the giant laminated salad bowl and fill it with chopped, cooked red potatoes with the skins still on. I also chop up some tofu in small bite-sized pieces as though it were cooked egg. I add some minced sweet onion, some chopped up dill pickle and dress it with a combination of plain yogurt and sour cream. I stir in some mustard and fresh dill, sea salt and pepper. Let it sit all day in the fridge and it’s as good as mom used to make, but a lot healthier. Kathy brings of bowl of marinated sliced tomatoes, some of the ones we’ve just picked in the field. Aquarius brings a rice and tofu casserole, while Novida provides a tossed salad. Acacia brings bread.
I can hardly wait to play. The spirit of competition is rising. After all I was on the volleyball team at school, I know I’ll be on the winning side.
We quickly choose up sides and the game begins. Our side serves, we volley back a forth a couple times until they miss. Everyone cheers, even the folks on my team. I don’t get it. I call out 1 to nothing. I get strange looks. I serve again, it’s an ace. 2 to 0, I say. Nobody cares. Someone shouts “we don’t keep score, it’s just for fun”. I can’t believe it, how can it be fun if we don’t keep score. Someone has to win, right? Wrong.
We played for the better part of an hour and it was the most fun I’d ever had playing volleyball. Some serves were met with the challenge to see how long we could keep it going. Others were met with teasing and tripping. The kids were included and rotated in and out. I can’t remember when I had laughed so much. It was truly in the spirit of play when the face of competition was removed. There were no losers, only winners because everyone was on the winning side and had such a good time.
We sat on blankets in the warm grass and you could smell the earth. Guitars appear and we gather to sing. There’s such a feeling of love and companionship. I really feel like these are my sisters and brothers, my family.