Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Community...Where Is Yours?

I’d planned to write about something else today. Yesterday a touch of some bug had me feeling shivery, achy and total unproductive, so I went to bed at the same time as Erin and slept the night through.

This afternoon, one of Bethany’s friends got off the bus and came home with her in tears because her baby-sitter hadn’t been out at the bus stop to pick her up. Lindsay and Bethany are in the same class and our families share the bus stop every day, so her mom and I have swapped off before, especially if I’ve been at trade shows. This was indeed a daycare day, but no one was there to pick her up... no wonder she was in a panic about what to do!

So I’ve called everyone I need to in order to sort this out and the girls are playing happily upstairs. We’ll get to homework in a few minutes, but it made me realize two things....

One, as hard or frustrating as it is to work from home some days, this is a time when it is really worth it.

Second, when something happens that is unexpected, having a sense of community with my neighbours is really what the word community is all about.

Where is your community? How have you reached out to be a part of your surroundings? It takes a bit of effort and trust to make friends or even casual acquaintances with the people in your neighbourhood, but then in times of trial, you have others to lean on. I can remember a scary night a few years ago when one of our neighbour’s houses caught fire just after Christmas. Luckily the home was saved and the top floor could be rebuilt/repaired, but the kids lost quite a few of their presents, clothes got damaged etc. The outpouring from the community in terms of help, food, clothing etc. was immediate and appreciated.

This morning I learned of the Cyclone that hit Queensland, Australia on Monday morning. While it is half a world away from me here, I am still keenly aware that this too is my community in a way. I have lots of fans in Australia that e-mail me about my designs and so I am thinking of them as their lives are suddenly turned upside down. I am also reminded that we are all one community on this precious planet. It does seem that with all these incredible changes in our weather patterns and disasters, we are pushing our poor home to the brink of what it can bear. What is MY responsibility in all this to keep my community safe? The challenge is to never lose sight of what each of us can do so that the homes around us and the homes on the far side of the planet grow to be nurturing communities where we can thrive!

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