On the hottest day of the year, the Barnies gathered in the LRB to get some relief from the heat, from the mundane, from the lonelies, and the blues today.
I asked the ladies to help me think out loud about this idea of community here at Jacob's Reward Farm - our Agriculturally Supported Community. I've been thinking about it a lot, but what's important is what the community thinks of itself, and what it communicates to those interested in becoming a part.
We talked about what our community means to them, and what the lasting value is for them in their lives.
What words or concepts come to mind when we think about the friendships and community here at the farm, and our hours together several times a month?
If we can nail down the seminal characteristics, and the reasons this community works, we can build it and grow it into a long-lasting force for good in the world.
Is there a reason to exist beyond the community itself? What do we have to offer the greater community around us? What about the environments we go home to -- are we different when we go home? Some of the Barnies told us that their husbands encourage them to come to the farm because they're so much nicer when then come back! That sounds like a really good thing.
When I shared with the clan about my trouble resting and taking time for myself, the ladies came up with lots of great ideas for me, and encouraged me to keep things in perspective. How can we all encourage each other in the areas of our lives that are tough for us? Do we dare risk showing that much of our weaknesses to our friends?
And how can we band together to address needs around us? We have addressed some charity needs through yarn storming, baby cap knitting, food bank donations. Can we do more? Can we spread some of this sister-love to folks in our worlds who need it so desperately?
And just then, when we didn't think we could take another degree of summer swelter, a few little rain cells blew in and dropped their quenching loads -- a lot in some areas and a little in others. The temperatures released their death grip on us and gently stepped aside. We felt the coolness, as welcome as a smile from a friend on a difficult day.
|Dina and Virginia|
Some of the words that came up in our conversation:
"Open." "Non-judgmental." "I fit in."
"Intelligent." "Accepting." "Inspiring."
"Restful." "Intentional." "Caring."
|Hugs with old pals|
"Nurturing." "Welcoming." "Diverse."
"Challenging." "Healing." "Fun-loving."