One definition of community, and the one to which this blog refers: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
I thought surely I would have done a post or two on community, but apparently not.
This morning I decided to visit at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Chesapeake for service. The last three years I have worked for them as the lead Religious Educator for their children. I could do that because they are non-dogmatic and open to just about anything so it was easy and fun to work with the kids around spirituality and connection to the earth.
On my drive up the way to them, I started thinking about community. About how the community Patti Digh has built for her Life is a Verb Camp is so soul nourishing, so spirit uplifting. I was picking apart the why of that: safe space, acceptance, come as you are, be who you are. It is hard to find those spaces. And while I’d love to live at Life is a Verb Camp full time, the intensity might kill me. I know it wears me out in all the good ways being worn out can feel.
So how does one have that community on a day to day basis?
Well, I’m sure my conclusion will come as no surprise to anyone who lives in community.
You can’t live at the edges of something and expect to feel a part of it. And while I caution myself to move deliberately and with conscious choice, I know that move I must.
The folks at this congregation, and it’s a small one, have become friends over my years there. I love their social justice commitment, earth connection, and willingness to engage with each other.
Anyways, I have not made the plunge but am gathering information since as the R.E. teacher I have never been present for the services. We stayed for the opening with the kids, then they are sung out to do their own thing and I with them.
So I was struck by the synchronicity of today’s talk. They are doing earth, air, fire, water 4 sessions consecutively. Today was air and our speaker
talked of how we all live at the bottom of a great ocean of air, with jet stream currents and other winds blowing through. Well. Coming so closely on my pond meditation of yesterday, I was taken with the synchronicity of the thought and how it took me out a bit farther in concept than my own musings around finding the edges of my pond so I could learn to fly. Because the wind in this ocean of air might just lift you on its own (okay, I’m not an airplane, but still, I’m forever imagining flying over the abyss of the unknown, and think of myself as a flighted dragon, so work with me on this).
Don’t the love notes of synchronicity just make you KNOW there is a thing called Grace?
Of course I have left this blog until the evening so what I have remaining from this morning is the lovely filling of being in the right place – a place where I can fill up to support me until I stop to fill up again.
I have to note here that people have been telling me I should be UU since I was in my 20s. Sort of like real estate. You just never know what’s finally going to come home to roost.
Brene Brown, in her latest book, Rising Strong, says: “I’ve realized that I could use more consistent support. I believe we all need that. It’s unfair to ask our partners to hold space for the thrashing about that is a necessary part of the reckoning and the rumble [terms she uses in her book for ‘falling down’ and the next step of figuring out why and what it will take to get back up to move forward with the ‘revolution’ – personal or otherwise], especially when they’re part of the story.”
That’s what community is: space, and does: holds space. At Life is a Verb Camp you cannot stay down because there are two many hands willing to hold you up until you can stand on your own. I want that every single day. I’m on a hunt for it. And I started that hunt consciously and with purpose this morning.
Have people said to you all the span of your life: oh, you should __________, you’d be perfect!. If yes, tell me and tell me how you’ve dealt with it. I love good stories!