The fact that I am my father's daughter has never been questioned. I have always looked enough like him for people to say I took after him and my sister my mom. This year, however, I was given the opportunity to prove this fact in a different way. I sat on my very first jury. My father loves jury duty and I have to say, so do I. It is amazing to be a part of the judicial system, to have a front row seat to a trial and see in it all the complications and conflicts of our law and all of the incredible people trying to make sense and create order in a world where right and wrong is often fuzzy at best. I cannot write about the trial, but I will say that with every new encounter I have in Baltimore, I am always impressed by the people I come into contact with, their courage, strength and love are great and I cannot help but believe that there really is something amazing happening in this place.

I had several experiences last week that also reminded me of how much heart Baltimore has. Wednesday night I wandered into Liam Flynn's Ale House. I thought I would just go in, drink a delicious beer (they have a fantastic selection) and read. The quiet night I anticipated was not what happened. It was Robert Burns' night and the atmosphere in the bar was celebratory. With live music, haggis (a kind of savoury pudding containing sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal's stomach and simmered for approximately three hours - I had to google it) and open mic poetry readings by anyone and everyone who wanted to step to the mic, I hardly touched the book I brought to read. The night was so engaging and had such a joyous feel that I was completely drawn in and felt a part of it. I even stepped to the mic to read a Robert Burns poem. It is great to enter a space that is full of activity, laughter, music and poetry. Liam Flynn's was alive, joyous and I had a wonderful time. 

The second thing that happened last week was a visit to my job at Baltimore Clayworks by representatives from the Fetzer Institute, an organization whose mission is to foster awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in the global community. I love my job. I love the people that I work with and am happy to go to work with them everyday. Fetzer brought another incredible group of people to us. I was impressed by their passion, generosity and the love that they bring to their work. With these two groups of people together the energy in the room even just during introductions could not be matched by any other work environment I have experienced. It was beautiful.

And then of course, I got to see the young people that I work with. Both at Mother Seton Academy for clay club (organized through Baltimore Clayworks) and at Edmondson-Westside High School (organized through the Creative Alliance). Both groups were a little tired this week and seemed ready for the weekend. Even though they were distracted though the creativity they put into their artwork was immense and as always I was thoroughly impressed by their vision.

I have much in my life to be thankful for: this place, the people in this place, the fact that I feel at home here and the connection to my family that being here reminds me of. I am my father's daughter.