Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Community is What You Make It I have been very reflective lately – this is such a busy time with Christmas and a recent tragedy on my mind. (Sorry, I’m not ready to discuss it here yet.) In times like this you rely on people close to you to celebrate and also process tough experiences. We have lived in our neighborhood for 7 years and for some reason, it has been incredibly difficult to meet people. Most people on our quiet street are, well, quiet and are not out that much. If they are out it always seems to be on off times from when we are out. The people we have met have been nice, but we have not formed any close friendships – something that has been frustrating to me for a long time. But look at the title of this post – community is what you make it and well, I just didn’t realize how important that was for me here in my quiet corner of the world and for a friend I recently said good bye to. For me – being with family and getting to know the people that are close are very important to me, but I have not made the effort probably in both camps to really foster the community I’ve been craving. My friend, on the other hand, made her mark, built her community and at her memorial a diverse group of people paid their respects. It was something to see and something I will never forget. My 5 year old daughter, Kayla, said last week, “Mommy, Daddy, I want to give a candy cane to everyone on our street for Christmas.” Brilliant! Jerry secured the candy canes and a few days later Kayla and I spent 1 hour and 15 minutes handing out candy canes. We met nearly every one of our neighbors. I can’t believe that she figured out how to solve this 7 year problem I’ve had with such a simple gesture. I believe this is the start of something big – a tradition – a means of reaching out. I’m not really sure what yet. All I know is that I’m in awe of this sweet girl and the impact she is having on me and my idea of what community is. So as the holiday season is ending, keep that sense of community and common goals and purpose alive with your neighbors, friends, and family. Reach out, pay attention, find ways to care and communicate. It could be the start of something big for you also.

No comments: