« As Wet as That | Main | Muses at Work »

A Bowl of Kindness

On Sunday the daffodils turned their happy faces towards the sun, showing no sign of hangovers from the previous day’s constant rain. I passed a bed of them in front of the Jacksonville Center barn on my way to the second annual Empty Bowls, an international project to fight hunger, brought to Floyd by potter McCabe Coolidge and his wife Karen Day.
For $10 you pick out a bowl thrown by a local potter and fill it with homemade soup. Proceeds raised go to the New River Community Action Center’s Back Pack Project, which sends school children home over the weekends with backpacks full of food.
I arrived at 12:30. Judging from the turnout I thought I must have arrived during peak attendance, but McCabe told me it had been like that since the event started at 11:00. The house was packed. There were lines for bowls and lines for soup, made by the potfulls by volunteers. Attendance is “way up” from last year, McCabe said.
In the Hayloft Gallery, where the table of empty bowls was set up, the latest Jacksonville art show, The Earth is Our Home, was on display. Some people strolled through the gallery, enjoying the works, many of which had been made with recycled materials.
For a few minutes I felt like I was at the Academy Awards. Instead of asking others what designer’s clothes they were wearing, friends and neighbors asked each other ‘whose bowl is that?’ People turned over their bowls (that they took home at the end of the meal) looking for potter’s signatures. A Silvie Granatelli … a Carter Holiday … a Jayn Avery were some of the potters I heard mentioned.
I was too excited by the high-spirited community meal sharing and the turnout to be hungry. I didn't eat any soup but noticed how good it smelled. I don’t know who made the bowl I chose because I couldn’t read the signature at the bottom. I dubbed it ‘the bowl of kindness’ and visualized it full of miso soup for supper.

Note: Doug at Blue Ridge Muse also posted photos of the event.


What a WONDERRFUL Event, Colleen.....A Beautiful idea and so filled with Creativity and LOVE, in every way....! Very Inspiring, Indeed!

When my daughter Ariel was in high school, the art department there put on an Empty Bowls supper every year. She was very involved in it and found it to be one of the most satisfying things she did in high school. They always raised thousands of dollars for the local food bank. And the bowls were so beautiful!

That is one great idea!! I love the idea of choosing your bowl.

Sounds like a great event! And yes, it's wonderful how plants have no memories..they crocuses and daffodils bloom happily in the early spring before the frost that inevitably comes along and kills the first batch of them! But God love 'em, they always come back.

Another great event at Floyd. I probably would have tried the soup. xo
PS My crocuses just lied down for some strange reason.

Oh, Colleen, this is such a lovely tradition. I wish we had something like that here!

Sorry I missed this!!!

I did have miso soup in the bowl last night and Joe had his breakfast in it this morning. We have lots of bowls (my son being a potter) but this one is popular for sure!

a lovely post, full of warmth and so inviting.
here from Netchick by way of Isd8u ( mike)

and, thanks for the daffodils, it brightened my monday

Oh Colleen, I love this. I wish we did this where I am from. In fact, I'd like to start something like this. The feel of art in your hands, filled up, nourishing everyone. What a perfect way to spend yourself.

That is just so wonderful! You live in an amazing community. I love visiting here for the feeling of belonging that pervades so much of what you do.

My eagerness to post a comment led to my being refused entry, so I'll try again, and say - slowly - what a wonderful event this is, and how I love visiting here to get that great sense of community that pervades so much of what you do. What a great place, and what great people!

neat. there's an event like that around where I am too. http://www.emptybowls.ca/

What a wonderful idea! It must be hard to choose from all the bowls and soups. What a great way to raise money for a good cause.


Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. It is fun to see who is reading. I have also attended an "Empty Bowls" in our community and loved it.

Colleen ... Can't tell you how wonderful it always is to see you ... Your community is the greatest, I swear! Always something good, something healthy, something peace-filled or creative going on. Why can't every community gather around like that? Makes me want to live there except with my weather and my family and my friends - which, well, can't happen. :(

Hugs to you always... you're such a wonderful friend!

What a great turn out! Things like that are so nice to see...very encouraging!

i would have so much enjoyed doing my social work in this kind of community with people who feel connected in ways that create abundant and valuable resources in all senses of that word, human and in-kind. i have never encountered such community spirit anywhere. floyd would be a fascinating sociological study so we could better understand the demographics and geographical characteristics to learn more about how this energy was generated, nurtured, and maintained through the years.

I think it's a combination of a strong small town foundation with a variety of people (influx of transports drawn to country life) who have learned over the years to respect each other and to work together. Empty Bowls is one of those banner events that bridges the different aspects of the Floyd community. It's a wonderful feeling when that happens.

i've been waiting to see all your Spring flowers . I miss them so much it hurts Sandy

Post a comment