Sense of Community, Beauty and Compassion
Thank you to everyone who came out on Sunday to attend the Healing Ceremony in Stanley Park and thank you to everyone from afar who took pause and joined us with their positive intentions. As I listened to Matthew talk about a sense of belonging and community, I started to think more about the following story which I felt compelled to share with you.
Years ago, Pierre and I lived in an apartment building just outside the gates of UBC. I was finishing my degree at the University and Pierre had started work for a start-up IT company. Not before long, (thanks to Pierre’s outgoing nature), we met all of our neighbours and not before long, (thanks to Pierre’s whacky sense of humour), we all became very good friends. We would each take turns hosting breakfasts and dinners. The doors of our apartments were constantly left open with each of us wandering from apartment to apartment; in search for some extra milk, computer technical support, or just simply a good story.
When our neighbour across the hall had her first child, she would knock on our door and leave her baby on Pierre’s lap, who was at home studying for his Masters so that she could quickly run up the street to buy some bread. And when I came home in the middle of the night to find the dreaded bike thieves in our laundry room, I woke up my burly 6 ft 3″ neighbour. I yelled instructions to him to keep watch from his apartment window so that I could call the cops. It was a real sense of community. Community in the true sense of the word. We stumbled upon it without knowing it and without realizing what a golden life we were living.
Over the years, Pierre often spoke about this sense of community and felt that there was a real lack of this happening in our world right now. I guess just due to the true nature of all of us not living within arms reach, all of us working so hard to make a go of things…raising children…caring for elderly parents. Our intentions are often so good but our time so limited. And so months would pass without seeing our old neighbours who had since moved out. Close friends become close friends from afar. I sensed over the years that Pierre longed to have that closeness and sense of community again.
And so here I now find myself stumbling upon this community again. Our old community that once silently receded to grow their own roots, has come forward during these dark times and sprouted new roots. Inside this community that has reached out to me, Pierre and the boys, I feel this incredible comfort and protection that lifts me from despair and helps me to see such beauty and compassion in my world right now.
Thank you to all of you who have reached out.
All my love,