You hear a lot about community nowadays. Community has many faces in an average life. Family, clubs, church, neighborhood,etc. There are many definitions and many manifestations of community.
I have a great family. A husband, two great kids and four beautiful grandkids, some very lovely in-laws, and a wonderful sister make up the community that is my family. Within it we interact as people do. We help eachother, agree and disagree, love and nurture and sometimes annoy the crap out of eachother. My point is, interactions vary like snowflakes within a community. But what about the communities in your life which are not made up of folks you actually know? I have been thinking about this lately, and have realized that you don’t have to know somebody to be in community with them.
Take ,for instance, where I live. A huge development with over 300 units is not exactly the ideal setting for making friends. You live on top of or below someone for years and the only interaction is a nod in passing. Yet, you know your community. There’s the “thumper” who lives upstairs who clomps around over your head so hard that the pictures on your wall go all kittywumpus. There’s the pilot guy who lives across the street and helps you shovel out from winter snow storms. And there’s the lady with the little dog who clomp, clomp, clomps down the stairs at 6:30AM in her big shoes to walk him before she leaves for work. I don’t know them, but I know them. They probably know me as the old gal from downstairs who food shops more than anyone else they know.
What really prompted me to post this today was my experience this morning at the local WaWa. There is a flow to things and a rhythm to this place that really struck me today. First, the parking parade. Everyone wants to get a pull-through spot so they don’t have to back out later. If you can’t find one, you have to calculate which car is most likely to vacate a pull-through spot first and park behind him. Next comes the door dance. I don’t know if other convenience stores have this action, but WaWa has two sets of doors to negotiate to get in or out. You always check to be sure nobody is behind you before letting go of the door. It is like a ballet and an opera, where everyone is stepping aside and saying ,”excuse me”, “thank you”, and “no problem”. The get your coffee routine is crazy. Don’t block the pots, don’t hog space at the condiment bar, get your cream and sugar and vamoos, all the time being very careful not to bump anyone or spill hot liquid on them. You see the same faces. The lady with the crazy hair who is at least 50 but is trying really hard not to be. There’s the great looking guy who looks exactly like a guy in your favorite TV show that gets hot chocolate every morning and nods a hello. How about the jolly fellow who flirts with all the ladies every day from his perch near the register? Is this the only interaction he will have today? It’s a community.
Anyplace that you frequent and are familiar and comfortable is a community that you are a part of. Take part. Contribute according to it’s specific requirements, and celebrate its people and its customs with joy. It’s part of your life and part of your day and part of who you are. Celebrate the communities in your life.

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