'What are you doing here' she asked with no small note of surprise. She had not expected to find anyone in the hostel kitchen at 7.30 in the morning as she tiptoed in to gather up the pots and pans and other tools of her catering trade.
"I'm at m'work, what are you doing here"? he answered, indignant that she would even ask the question. It may have been a hard night but here he was, alone and proud at his post - ready to launder another batch of 'whites'.
A number of years on from making the first ever bowl of Root Soup Bryson's job these days is to keep the whites whiter than white. Life's circumstances mean that he prefers to work in the background now and every morning, without fail, he shows up to launder his load before anyone else is even stirring. Jacket's first - apron's later - that's the drill. A wardrobe filled with gleaming, ironed whites, ready for the road is enough reward.
All except for 'that flippin' pink apron', the bane of his life. Washed, a while ago, with a red tea towel by someone else, the carelessness breaks his heart every time it shows up in his load.
So... why this story today as I embark on a whole new journey? I guess until Alison told me the story of 'The Linen Man' and that flippin' pink apron the question "What are you doing here"? was my question too.
What is Kridyom and what are we doing here?
You see Bryson has never been paid a penny for anything he has ever done at Root Soup. From that very first bowl of broccoli and cheese soup all those years ago to battling with a pink apron in a wardrobe of pure white's, Bryson does what he does because he sees it as 'his work'. For him it is a labour of love.
Many of us start out to do our work as a labour of love. It's the work of our hearts, the work we were created to do and in doing it we get a chance to create the world we want to live in.
However, as the years go by and demands grow bigger there's always the risk that the work of our days becomes a labour of habit, duty or necessity.
I've always believed that Love has to be at the heart of care and community and at the root of all service.
So ... here I am - starting a brand new chapter of life, inspired by Bryson and all the other 'unlikely leaders' who have lead me along the 'Way of the Heart' and opened my eyes through the years.
And as to the question "what are you doing here"? From the bottom of my heart, where echoes of Bryson are whispering, I too can answer with confidence - "I'm at m'work".
As for Kridyom - well we are about everyone having a space, to be at their work, no matter what!