I have been thinking a lot about communities lately. I have thought about the communities to which I belong. What role do they play in my life? What would my life be like without them? I realize that my communities have brought me through the rough and rugged patches in my life. I have friends and communities that have walked the path with me, supported me, prayed for me and loved me through loss, transition, joy and pain. I also realize that have done the same for others. I am grateful to be both on the giving and receiving ends.
Today I have spent most of the day toggling between writing this blog and baking cookies for friends who are in a time of loss. Do the cookies make a difference? No, not really; but the love and care that they represent do make a difference. Having been on the receiving end of such gifts of time and care and love, even when I did not know who brought what, I felt the comfort and love in each and every bite. That is a part of what community is about for me.
As I have been cogitating on all things community today; here are a few of my musings.
We are all members of many communities. We are a part of some communities by birth/adoption (family, city/state/nation of origin), some by default (work, school, neighborhood), some by choice (friends, faith community, community organizations, social networks, interest groups, common beliefs), some by chance/fate/destiny/divine ordinance (or whatever else you want to call it).
Some communities are small (maybe just 2), some are large and some are in between. There are communities within communities. Some communities have permeable membranes are in a constant state of flux with members always coming and going while some have stable memberships with little change.
There are communities that are temporary (one time class/conference, group walk/run for a cause, audience of a performance) and communities that are more long-term. Sometimes members like each other, sometime not.
In the age of the internet, we now can be a part of communities with a much larger diversity. We can choose to be anonymous, choose an alter ego, or choose to share more of ourselves. We can bare our souls to another person knowing that we most likely will never meet in person.
As part of the Blogging 101 assignment today, we were asked to say hello to the neighbors (Hi, Y’all!!) by following at least 5 new topics (photography, quilting, philosophy, consciousness, quantum physics, psychology, peace, Galapagos – just to name a few!) We are to also follow 5 new blogs (again, I am an overachiever and have followed many more than that!). As a new blogger, this is opening up a whole new type of community that I have never experienced before. It is a wonderful thing to read and to be read, and to connect with others from around the globe, from such diverse backgrounds and locations and experiences, and to find that we have commonalities. I am amazed at the creativity and diversity of blogs. I have found some blogs where I sense a kindred spirit, and some where I see posts that challenge me in those places I want/need to be challenged and some that just make me smile and laugh. I have learned something from each of you. So, a big thank you to all of you out there in this new community of Blogging 101.