Bread & Butter People… or How to be a Welcome, Episode 134

There’s a down-to-earthness about some people, an everydayness. When people are this way, there’s no fear that they’re putting on an act for you, that they may be different towards you when you are not there. And when each of us finds a way to be like this, we can be a profound welcome to one another. A conversation about ordinary, kind ways of being with one another, with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

This is Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. We’re also on YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify. You can find videos of every episode, and more about the project on the Turning Towards Life website.

Our source for this week is written by Melanie Lowndes, and brought to us by Lizzie.

Bread and Butter People
by Melanie Lowndes (edited by Lizzie for Turning Towards Life)

She is the neighbour who is always pleased to see you, who years ago with her husband and kids had many animals. Her husband once stopped you on the way home and said, “Look what I’ve got – she doesn’t know yet…” and proudly showed you a piglet which used to run to the door in the hall with it’s wriggly tail wagging when you came in.

She is the Welsh lady with the foreign surname who lives with her Indian homeopath husband and does B&B the old way, taking in guests who stay in the bedroom full of books and character and a little mess, and carefully cooks what you like for breakfast and dinner.

He is the father of your ex who in latter years had greyhound dogs and you could escape the politeness of the house each evening to walk with him – and Hannah or Rose, him listening, ever a safe and un-judgmental receptacle of your disclosures.

There is a safeness about bread and butter people, a consistency.

Yes it’s also Scottish Jean, who lost her husband after caring for him for many years and was in grief, and who had a gravelly smokey Glaswegian voice that could reduce you to tears with a question.

There is a kindness about them, a down-to-earthness, an every-dayness, no glamour nor allure but something deeply nurturing; no eggshells around them. There’s no fear that they’re putting on an act for you, that they may be different towards you when you are not there, no fear that what they show you is different to how they are to their core.

This is the way they are: consistent – and you understand something about consistency now – it is not about always showing up the same way – it is about consistently showing up how you are, honestly, whether that be happy or sad, calm or troubled.

I think of the times people have actually delivered. The mates that show up. The people who come back. Who care. Who check in. Who stay. Who make tea and stir in a little extra sweetness without making a fuss.

The bread and butter people in our lives.

The staple friendships.

The kind dough that kneads our self esteem.

Photo by Kate Remmer on Unsplash