I don't know if you have read a recent Facebook post about my latest life experience, but I feel the subject of "community" needs to be explored a bit more to really get the emotional need and feel of it.
To recap, I had gone to my nephew's wedding, (Cheyne Lempe marrying Juliet Ulibarri), in Truchas, New Mexico, just over a week ago. Cheyne is this amazing person, athlete, climber, photographer/videographer and has spent many years traveling this earth climbing in places I've never heard of and creates film and documentary pieces that would stun the average person into thinking, "we are all not doing enough".
One of Cheyne's recent pieces on A&E was titled "Stone Locals" - Rediscovering The Soul of Climbing. As I watched, I could not fully embrace this life most avid climbers live, because I have not participated in it, this was a foreign existence to me. Cheyne could not have known that understanding and experiencing this gathering and support of people was surprisingly important to me. I had put together watching this soulful, beautiful human experience to participating in a relative experience over a year later, the wedding.
When I meet new people or reacquaint with old friends, I search and desire to be constantly inspired to live a better, smarter, and more joyful life than the week before. I will see something and ask questions, taste something and learn how to make it or experience something and learn how to live it. If I was 25 years old right now, this of course would be much more exciting and colorful. Instead, I am 56 years old and almost everything I do is done slower and has become deeply meaningful to me at this time in my life. Even though I thoroughly listen and take guidance from the younger people in my life on how to "keep up", I do believe I have gained some level of wisdom and I look forward to sharing with anyone who is also in search of the next level of internal fulfillment without getting injured. LOL
So many beautiful people made sure they arrived for this experience and participation in this wedding in New Mexico. I had no idea what was in store for me, the next 3 days up in these mountains. For most weddings I have been to, you "show up", laugh, drink, eat, dance and hope you didn't embarrass yourself. This was different. Cheyne & Juliet's community arrived. A collection of people with the same love of the earth, beauty of the soul, giving of their conversations, music, support of each other in whatever pocket they fit into Cheyne & Juliette's life and somehow beautifully interwove an atmosphere that I have never breathed in before. I was completely blown away and starving for this missing piece in my life. These humans all shared a love and connection of being like-minded. In better terms, they had collected each other. What an incredible example of "community".
So I have questions!! Why am I just understanding what community is about, at 56 years old? How have I not come across this entity before? Where can I get one?! The answers to all of these questions come to be,.. in how we live. Everyone will have a different set of answers. For me, my parents moved around, ALOT. I lived in 14 homes before I graduated high school. Maintaining relationships as a kid, without media, was not a possibility and by the time I became an adult, I was already in all sorts of bad habits. Those bad habits also spilled onto my family. Time to leave the old habits behind. It takes effort to communicate and it takes a "dialed-in" attention to that communication. Start! Start over! Begin again and open your mind. Quit doing nothing. Want for more, better, enriched, interesting, joyful connections.
We should all crave "community". Whether it is your group of friends you have kept and nurtured since you were a child, or joining a photography group in your area that loves learning how to take better landscape photos. Find what you are interested in and there is an entire community of those same people waiting for you to join them. I see the groups on Facebook that come together from all over the world and join conversations for support and advice. Dip your toes into the water of acceptance and listening ears. In the times we live, we need each other. Be observing, be attentive, be less afraid to step out of what you know.