Di’s Window on White River
I wrote this piece some time ago – the end of October 2015 in fact. But what I felt that morning, I experience quite often. One of the joys of living in a small town is that deep sense of community and connection that can experienced if your heart is open to it. Yes it’s true that everybody knows your business and what they don’t know, they often make up! That can be the down side of living in a small town, but then life is made up of positives and negatives. But it is heart-warming to see how a community will rally around in times of need.
“I am writing this morning with a very full heart. In fact my heart is smiling and that smile reaches my face. I am smiling at no-one because I am alone in my peaceful home office. A deep joy bubbles up out of nowhere and my smile gets bigger. Bird song fills the air and I look out on green trees and a not-so-lush garden as we wait for much needed good rains. But it is beautiful nonetheless.
I am reminded again of how much I have to be grateful for. But I digress.
I am smiling because we attended the Summer Sundowners fundraiser for our local Hospice. I love how our community rallies round and opens hearts and pockets for our charities. Drinks flowed, chatter and laughter filled the cool night air (luckily the weather came to the party too), money was raised and a good time had by all. What I love even more is the sense of connection at these events. Eyes light up as they fall on familiar faces not seen for a while, joyful shrieks, hugs. People enjoying the one thing that makes us feel like we belong. Connection. The most basic human need is to feel that sense of belonging. We need to matter. A planet populated with 7.3 billion people (according to latest Google stats) and yet loneliness is the affliction of many.
Small town living may have its drawbacks, but for me that connection and sense of community far outweighs those. I have witnessed it when tragedy strikes someone here. The grief is palpable in the air, the shared shock and the pulling together to support whoever needs it. It’s beautiful and humbling.
So that’s why I’m smiling right now. Because of my love of this special town called White River and all those to whom I feel this deep connection. Thank you for enriching the tapestry that is my life. My heart is smilingly full.”
As we move into 2016, I encourage you to view the world with an open heart and make a choice to seek out those special times and connections that do make living worthwhile and create that sense of connection. Kindness and compassion cost nothing and benefit the giver as well as the recipient. It is in these actions that a true caring community is created.