Thursday, 5 July 2012


A sense of community, being connected to those around me in meaningful ways, is essential for my spiritual and mental well-being. I am hugely thankful, therefore, that I live in a place that seems to ooze connectedness on so many levels. Today was rich with the sense of belonging, from many meetings and greetings at the market, through celebrations in the village park, to our Wednesday communal meal with friends.

Our little village boasts three totally different schools - a primary, a Montessori and a Steiner school and all three were involved in today's grand unveiling of a new sculpture in the park. Many of the children have contributed in some way to the little space next to the woods, suggesting designs for the play equipment and the giant wood carving, planting in the little garden or making wind chimes to hang in the trees. Prizes were given out for special contributions and all the children were treated to a bouncy castle and piles of cup cakes, whilst the adults were treated to pasties and cava. Whilst we were there, the trees were further adorned with little clay goblins, this is Eli's happy chap...

It felt good to be standing in the rain together, admiring park art and watching our children mingle in the mud.

We then zoomed to consume yet more food and communal spirit at our mid-week meet-up at Holme St. I took along some bunting bits...

A few of us decided in the depths of winter that it would be really helpful for us to gather and share a meal in the middle of the week. Any parent who is going it alone, or who has a partner at work full-time, knows just how long the weeks can sometimes feel . It can also get a little lonely unless there are opportunities to share the journey with other families; this Wednesday afternoon get-together helps us do just that. The children play and we prepare food whilst trading tales and news. It also eases the pressure of the daily 'what are we going to eat tonight?' angst. Some weeks I might manage a more elaborate meal but other weeks i might just take a plate of chopped carrots. It doesn't matter, we always have enough between us. 

Eli and Monty love coming here, I think it might be the highlight of their week. It seems such a beautiful and simple way for us parents to receive and offer support while giving our children's friendships space to deepen. It would be great to see our group and others grow, not just for families and friends, but for whole communities. In an increasingly isolating time for many people, creating ways to find each other, helping everyone feel like they're a part of something and valued can only be a good thing. Allowing each one of us, however we're feeling, to find strength and hope in the simple act of coming together.

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