Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Is Community

In the process of this move, I've been thinking a lot about community, what it means, and how we fit into it all. We've moved into a ridiculously friendly neighbourhood, a neighbourhood in which people recognize each other as they walk down the street, a neighbourhood that greets newcomers, and looks out for each other and their dogs. (Well, mostly.)

But, it's not the only community of which we're a part. And it's not the most important, or the one for which I am the most grateful.

In January, we (loosely speaking) made the final decision on a church home. Since then, we've been slowly drawn in to the embrace of a very different kind of community than the one we have moved into. We've met new people, learned some new names, and began to share our lives with them and they with us.

A few weeks ago, as we left a dinner with a couple from the church and a group of chatty youth, the host presented us with an extra lasagna, carefully wrapped up and waiting for the oven. When we got our new stove, it was one of the first things we baked up in excited anticipation. It's the perfect thing. An easy dinner when I'm tired after packing and unpacking. An easy lunch for days when I have no time to brown bag anything. (Oh, right. That's every day.)

With each bite, I am grateful.

The more community I experience from all places -- our neighbourhood, our church, even at work -- the more I appreciate it and the more I understand how important it is. One day, I'd like to be able to extend the same thoughtfulness to someone else. Could we do this without them? Probably.

But why bother?


  1. So glad to hear that you have experienced community in our church. We have also been so blessed by all their love, care, and support especially in the last few months. So interesting that you are also living in a community where all the neighbors know each other. People outside the city don't expect to find that here. Sometimes when we have visitors from out of town they say, "Well if this is what it's like to live in Toronto then I could live here too." Fun to read about your renovation adventures. Thanks for writing about them". And hang in there! It's really only been a few weeks and you've already accomplished a lot!

  2. @Ellie

    We most certainly have! It's one of the reasons we decided to stay, actually -- from the first time we visited, we felt not just noticed, but welcomed!

    I was surprised by how close our neighbourhood seems to be! I lived in an old suburb of Waterloo for 2 years while in university and never even got to know my neighbours' names. Granted, I was a student and everyone in Waterloo is understandably nervous when students move in next door. But I've been really enjoying the Torontonian sense of community. I can see now why people move here insisting it's temporary and end up never leaving!