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  • Writer's pictureJoe Cherry

Nurturing Beauty

We come to May, the air crisp with the late Spring, and the Cape gearing up for the Summer. A Summer sure to be full of visiting families and our own kin, chosen and biological. The magic of Summer is coming, and we are all very excited.

Last August when I arrived on Cape Cod, I was stunned by both its beauty and its ordinary vignettes, beautiful in their own way. Of course there is the water, the beautiful beaches, the stunning parades of people here on weekends. But, to me, more impressively, were the simpler, out of the way places of beauty, and the way it was clear to me that Cape Codders took care of each other.

One of the first, and for me yet most enduring, examples of this is the Hand in Hand Thrift Shop. I love a good thrift shop and this one did not disappoint! Lest you think this is a commercial for this place, let me tell you why I liked it so much.

The shop is evidence of caring and nurturing. Not only is it a place where one can find things one needs at a very reasonable price, but the shop is a place where people can share their abundance with those who may not have as much. It’s part of a foundation of helping hands where neighbors help neighbors. It’s a part, the most visible part, but not the only part.

I could see this from the moment I first walked into the store down the street from our Meeting House, and it really humanized the Cape for me.

Not being a native of New England, I had this idea that only very wealthy people lived on Cape Cod. I had visions of sailboats and big houses. I thought I’d see lots of boat shoes, you know those Sperry Boat Topsiders, everywhere. The Hand in Hand shop showed me that there would be a whole spectrum of people here on the Cape, and that the people who lived here tried to care for one another.

This, to me, was a beautiful relief. Caring people, nurturing beauty. I knew I was going to love my time here.

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Rev. Joe Cherry

Rev. Joe is a biracial, gay, Unitarian Universalist minister, and history nerd. He lives in North Easton, Massachusetts, with his husband, Rev. Denis Paul, and their dog, Toulouse.

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