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Ode to the Black Prince

“You know that woman who came by herself?” said the vinegar craftsman to the server.

“You mean me?” I asked, revealing my presence, losing the chance to hear the next sentence.

Would it be that I was still there, hours later, sated with vinegar, recipes and stories?

Was it the story I told the young woman who made my pizza, of my travels seeking stories that bring peace? Her great aunt couldn’t marry a Catholic, not because of faith, but because of politics. Her cousin just married a Catholic, a sign of growing peace in Ireland.

“Explore eclectic interests in first year,” I advised her, before focusing on her major, political science.

“Don’t miss Trinity College in Ireland,” she advised me, as we shared our histories and hopes. Mine is to dance at the walls that divide to the music that unites in her father’s homeland. To care no more if one’s Catholic or Protestant, Irish or English, Israeli or Palestinian, Eritrean or Ethiopian, black or white, male or female, rich or poor, us or them. We’re all human becomings, after all. Who do you want to be?

You know that woman who came by herself? She left feeling like she met four friends.

Don't hesitate to talk to strangers! At the least you'll gain understanding; at the best you'll gain a friend, as I felt I did one delightful afternoon at the Black Prince Winery in Picton, Ontario.

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