1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
"the scientific community"
2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
"the sense of community that organized religion can provide"
I grew up in a small town so to me the word community meant my actual town. As I get older I realize that there are multiple ways to use the word 'community'. I think for me, the most important way to use this word is when I describe the people whom have surrounded themselves around not only me but my children, my family, my grandparents and even my friends. I used to think that the world was so big and so vast that the sense of community pertaining to the whole world was not possible. I was wrong. As I age I have been humbled in knowing that we are all connected in some small sort of way. Anyone who knows me knows that this would thrill me. I would love to be related to Ellen or Oprah or Serena or Alexandria. OR BEYONCE (notice these are all powerful women???). And in a way, I guess we are all are in our connection to the world.
Relation or not, we are all living on this plane at the same time. I am so grateful to those who have become part of my community. I think back to growing up and unconsciously having people in my life who taught me about the responsibility of community. I remember living on the acreage and having a giant snow storm. We had a neighbor come over and plow out the driveway with his tractor since there was waaaaaaay more snow than what my dad's snow blower would have been able to manage. Instead of the job taking my dad hours and hours in the freezing cold our neighbor was able to clear the snow in an hour. A small act for him but it had a huge impact for our family that winter. My parents no longer live on the acreage and live in Calgary. My dad still uses the snow blower when it's needed. He now snow blows the driveways and sidewalks for their neighbor who has had a heart attack and for an elderly couple who are physically not able to shovel. My grandparents lived in their house on 8th and Clarence for over 50 years. There was a widow with no children who lived on the same block as them. As she got older my grandma started bringing her supper. Every day. Every supper. For over 30 years.
When I had my babies people would say, It takes a village to raise a child'. I thought what a stupid comment. But again, I realize I was wrong. What a true statement. Whether its teachers, coaches, your children's friend's parents, etc. To have people who are vested in your children's lives, who want to help raise them into responsible, kind, and helpful members of society is a gift of community that makes me truly grateful. I don't know where I would be, or my children for that matter, without those who have become a part of our community. I think the only feeling that is better than someone helping you is being able to help someone else. Knowing that at some point our lives will intertwine with someone who knows someone who knows someone. I was at the airport in Calgary and had just been cleared at security. I went to find a place to sit at my gate and sitting in front of me was Gordie Howe. Mr. Hockey himself. He was sitting by himself so I went and sat beside him. I asked him if he minded that I sat beside him. We started talking and I asked him about growing up in Saskatoon and if he remembered my grandpa since they used to play baseball together and grew up on the same street on Avenue G. Mr. Howe told me stories about my grandpa and about the beginning of his career and leaving Saskatoon. We took some pictures and when it was time for me to board my flight he passed along his greetings to my grandpa. Community can connect us in ways we never thought possible.
My heart is filled with gratitude when I think of all the people whose paths have crossed mine and who have become a part of my community. For those who remind me that we have a responsibility to each other to stay connected. To those who challenge me to do better and be better. To those who fulfill their roles in the various communities that they are involved in. To those whom I have been blessed with to be counted in their community. It's not something that I take for granted or take lightly. My life has been enriched with all of you in it.
PS. I will be VERY busy for the next few years celebrating the win last night