30 July 2011

giving feels good at new belgium brewing's clips of faith tour

As most of you know, I’ve been in a less-than-stellar mood since my father passed away unexpectedly on Father’s Day. Even though everyone in my world has been so wonderful with sweet words and kind wishes, I’ve been a bit hermit-like this summer as I try to work through the sadness and grief. I’ve been perfectly okay soaking up Seattle summer from the emotional safety and comfort of our Zen bungalow and hanging out with a few select friends, but for the most part, I’ve spent a lot of time alone thinking. I keep testing the waters to see how I fare in real life social situations (as in, do I fall apart?) and the results have varied from complete meltdowns to respites of feeling okay. Not great, but good enough to think clearly and carry an intelligent conversation.

Right now, I’m not trying to force myself to do anything, other than to be present with my feelings on a day-to-day basis. I’m okay with skipping summertime BBQs and birthday parties, but I have missed volunteering. Giving back is something that always makes me feel good, so I decided to volunteer last night at New Belgium Brewing’s Clips of Faith Beer & Film Tour at Gasworks Park in Seattle. The 18-city tour benefits a different local nonprofit in each destination, and Seattle’s tour benefit Nature Consortium.  A short walk from my house, I figured how bad could it be to spend a summer night outside, in eyeshot of the most amazing view of Seattle’s skyline, slinging beer, in the company of friends? It did not suck.

Shannon Edris and Ryan Witcher joined me for the hopped-up volunteer festivities and we deftly poured draft after draft of 15 of New Belgium Brewing’s finest brews for hours. Amongst the chaos of having to constantly replenish 3oz. “samplers” and 12oz. beers, there was something oddly meditative about the experience. Pouring beer was such a simple task, yet the repetition completely distracted my mind, and after five hours, I realized that not a single sad thought had creeped into my mind. It was a small victory in my process of healing, but a glimpse of hope that everything will be okay, and that eventually, I’ll be okay.

Sampling new (to me) brews like La Folie Sour Brown Ale, Le Terroir, and Somersault Ale may have had something to do with my good mood, but I believe that volunteering and the simple act of doing something is to thank, because giving feels good.

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