It’s time to build and rebuild our communities
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/05/2022 (386 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I’m so excited about the warmth and sunshine ahead! With the past two years and the longest, coldest, snowiest winter behind us, I am looking forward to spending time outside and figuring out ways to get together with friends and neighbours.
Springfield North, with its nearby trails and retention pond, naturally draws me out of my house to enjoy walking, biking, and kayaking. I celebrated Mother’s Day by making good use of those opportunities. How refreshing it was to pull all the gear out from storage and get into motion.
After getting to know my neighbours a bit this winter, I’m imagining ways that we can hang out this summer. There’s nothing better for conversation than relaxing by a fire. I want to do that more this year.
I know one neighbour misses weekly gatherings since moving to our street. Maybe we can bring the barbecue to the front yard and have a community potluck feast. Maybe more than one.
I just learned one of our neighbours is moving. I hope we can throw her a going-away party and at the same time welcome the new people in.
Dreaming is fun, but I also recognize it will take some initiative to see the vision become reality. It’s so much easier to do life in our own little bubble. It’s less risky, takes less energy, less planning, and less time and money. But the rewards are so much less, too.
We’re not meant to live life as independent islands. We are meant to live as vibrant villages. We need one another. We need people to interact with close by, not just across the city. People in walking distance (especially with gas prices so high).
City living can be so isolating. We venture from our homes into our school or work worlds, maybe a faith-based or recreational community, and maybe into a place where we volunteer. But rarely do those worlds intersect, and so we don’t spend sufficient time with any of those people in order to build deep, lasting friendships.
I just read an excellent book called, Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World, by Jennie Allen. I was challenged to learn to do life with others — going beyond many acquaintances and a few struggling friendships, to developing a village (30 to 50 diverse people who are consistently inter-connected) and a few deep friendships.
The biggest thing is to stop waiting for it to happen. Someone has to make the first move. Always.
My encouragement to each of us is to be the ones who invite, who get in our front yards more, who stop to talk while on a walk, who get a neighbour’s phone number — whatever it takes. And then smile as we start to see our neighbourhoods turn from a collection of individual houses into a village of connected people.
Springfield North community correspondent
Sonya Braun is a community correspondent for Springfield North.