Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Community is:
  • walking your child to school, to the same school you went to as a child
  • stopping on the way back to chat with a woman who watched you grow up, who remembers you still (and occasionally treats you still) as that child just starting out in school
  • opening your front door to a friend, and finding that friend talking to one of your old school teachers
  • needing someone to talk to the Guides about the history of Guiding, and knowing at least three women who could cover at least 60 years of it from personal experience
  • having a social worker for a babysitter, one who knows what the training evening you are about to attend entails, and who brings you chocolate to aid the concentration
  • sitting in a coffee shop with friends, discussing the unthinkable made reality, crying one minute and laughing the next
  • knowing the family who moved into your old house, and the family who moved into their old house, and having a quick chat about it all in the child-queue
  • changing things quietly in order to accommodate a child who happens to have particularly special needs
  • a friend taking the time on her own back-t0-school shopping trip to find school trousers for your own small child
  • a different friend calling in to help fold a tent
  • knowing that there are people around who will drop as much as they can and help out in whatever way they can, not worrying about the ways in which they can't help.
Community is not perfection, it is human. It is not a formal structure, but a spider's web of relationships, with love and acceptance in the middle, and a somewhat messy but strangely beautiful complicated pattern of friends, family, professionals and well-meaning passersby, all linked, all hanging together by a thread, and all somehow more than the sum of the individual parts.

And for today, I am pleased and proud to be a part of this community, a community which can't be defined in any simple way, not just friends, not just family, not just Christians, not just families of children with special needs, just, community.



Hazel said...

Amen to all that. Community from 9000 miles away. Imagine what our ancestors would have made of that idea. Have fun.

HennHouse said...

I love this post. So beautifully written.

Sara x said...

Im so jealous of this post which i know isnt good. Ive wished for this community for myself and my girls for a long time. Maybe one day. Im glad you have the gift of this, lovely post xx

Elinor said...


Tina said...

So glad your community has come together for you wonderful when it happens.

Anonymous said...

Having move from a big city to a village and had a sn child and one querky child(!) I have discovered the value of community too. Also means your at the time boss knows that you are skiving a yoga class you have just signed up for because he has treated the teacher that day and she recognised your name!

julie said...

hi. our little one also does the breathing like a drain. we call it the 'Darth Vader impersonation'. sometimes she sounds terrible in the mornings and then is fine after suction and sitting up. other times it's a night time thing. often no rhyme or reason. we always check temp and if it is fine then we assume she is too. also, if little one gets distressed then breathing goes heywire... love julie x

Doorless said...

Well written. When I moved to be near the hospital when the Princess was having a really bad spell I lost my community. Only problem I had in my old community was sometimes when in a hurry shopping it took longer because of friends wanting to stop me and talk. Slowly I am rebuilding.
It wound be wonderful to have old friends who really know you so near.
Hope Mog gets better very soon and you can get some rest.


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