Each morning I head out for a walk. It is part of a new routine I started earlier this year to get the body back into motion.
We have a beautiful path in our town. When I started this walking ritual I used to pray the path would be empty. Having been at home for a year with my family ALWAYS THERE I craved alone time.
But as the months have passed and the world has started to open back up I find myself craving something different… community. The grumpier my newsfeed becomes, the more I long for people who see the world the way I do – a world filled with possibility and love.
Have you felt that?
In a small way I’ve started to see my fellow early morning walkers as a community. I don’t know them well but we share some things in common. We love our community’s path, as well as the sweetness of the early morning.
I exchange quick hello’s with each as we pass and I find myself falling a little bit in love with each. They now take up space inside my heart. That desire to be completely alone on the path is now replaced by the sense of comfort of those brief exchanges.
I have one friend on this path I look forward to the most. He is an older gentleman. Ever since my dad left this planet I experience a sweet form of comfort when I find someone who acts like my dad did.
He always has a smile and hello for me. I stop, take out my earbuds so he knows he has my full attention. He usually offers some short missive – “The trees are really blooming today!”, “Watch out for the groundskeeper!” or a simple inquiry “How are you today?”
We have our brief exchange and he moves on. I don’t think he knows how much he means to me. I’ve been trying to summon up the courage to tell him.
That is the value of community, at least the really good ones. To have people you can interact with on a consistent basis that you know share some common perspective about the world. It is the best cure for loneliness I know.
I’ve been working on creating a new community myself. It has always been something I wanted to do but the time never felt right. But it’s become clearer to me how much we all need protected spaces – places to interact with people that are fueled by love and support.
I’ll be sharing more about that next week. For now, I’d like you to know that if you’ve been searching for connection I get it. This last year has changed many of us and what we need in others has changed. You may belong to communities that no longer fit.
Be honest about who you are and who you want to surround yourself with. Ask the Divine for help bringing those people to you. I did that earlier this year. It is only now I’m realizing the Divine answered the first day she whispered “Go for a walk…”