Feel Great Again! Estonian Life (1)
I went and did my civic duty last night, “talgud” volunteer work at the Estonian House. My calves hurt, my back is a little sore and I even woke up with a bit of a headache this morning. My body doesn't feel so great, ...but, I feel great, I mean really great. Let me explain, it's my spirit, my heart and my soul that got the greatest workout last night.
I received a call to action a few weeks ago from an email outlining a session of Friday night “talgud” at the Estonian House, 7-10 pm. for the month of November. I had been thinking about helping a number of times, “thinking” being the operative word, because, it was never connecting to action, however, I found some time in what I considered to be my busy schedule, called, and made known that I would be able to help on the upcoming Friday.
When I arrived at the Estonian House, I had only been told beforehand to wear clothes suitable for painting. As it turned out, we were about to take on the task of painting the Suur saal “ The Big Hall”. As I looked around at the job at hand, with its 24' ceilings and “big” in size (imagine 2 gymnasiums) hall...I thought, this is a very big job for 3 volunteers. This was obviously not going to be a one night job, thankfully there is a growing force of volunteers.
So, off to work we went. Paint brushes and rollers in hand, scaling up and down the ladders umpteenth times (I figure I had just as great a workout as being on a stair master) taping and priming the walls.
As I was priming for a moment I thought, “where are those volunteers?” and then that slipped away to how much I was enjoying helping, I can't say that I enjoy painting, but, I loved seeing how quickly with just a bit of paint, this old and neglected hall was starting to breathe again, starting to come back to life. Each paint stroke, giving back to me the wonderful memories of the past (love and hate thing), the smells (not of the fumes of the paint), but of experience, of time, of bygone stories, a heritage building, not only our building anymore, but, Toronto's building. Ask anyone in Toronto, “oh yeah, the Estonian House on Broadview”, even non Estonian's love this building. The halls, the nooks and crannies of the Estonian House do not ring hollow even when it is quiet. The feel of warmth, traditions, communal selflessness and community has permanently seeped into every part of this building.
Without any fanfare, the volunteers are helping to restore the Estonian House. They are breathing life back into the old girl (aren't all ships and buildings girls?)and as I paint, the old girl has reminded me that I am not 21 years old anymore, not even 51 years old (ouch), but, my spirit, my heart and my soul feel young. I feel great today!