Monday, June 4, 2012

Community

I had a really interesting experience over Memorial Day Weekend.  My high school music & drama department had a 30 year reunion, spanning over 5 graduating years.  I had not seen many of the people who came (about 25 of us) during that 30 years!

Yet there they were, at Friday night rehearsal in my living room, as if only a year or two had gone by.  I was in utter shock looking around at these (gracefully aging) faces, listening to us belt out the Hallelujah Chorus once again!  (Apologies to my neighbors, although I don't think that we were that bad.)  It was absolutely amazing.

The next day, we gathered at our former high school for the day -- more rehearsing, eating, talking, screaming, laughing, and finally ending with a performance, with two group choir pieces and a number of solos and heartrending speeches.

It was one of the best times I can recall in a very long time.  And I really felt like I wanted to figure out why and bring as much of that forward into my current life as I can.

First, as I was looking around my living room at the now 50 year old faces, I could very clearly see their 18 year old selves there, also.  It really brought home the fact that we are not our ages.  We've certainly bloomed at this point (and hopefully will continue to do so!) -- there's much more to us now -- yet that presence of our younger selves was entirely clear!  I vowed to try and remember that about everyone I meet, not just the people that I've known since childhood.  We weren't born at 30 or 45 or 60 or 80, there's a child still there in all of us!

Second, the sense of community was just fabulous.  Being in a group with a common goal -- doing something to the best of your ability, coordinating that with the efforts of others, and then giving something back to the world -- what's better than that?  I felt really grateful for learning that early on, and it also reminded me of the different ways that I've created community in my life currently.  And it inspired me to be open to some new ways, too!  

Third, I actually sang a solo for the first time in my life -- a parody of "I'm in the Mood for Love" (a la Allan Sherman).  It got a lot of laughs, and I felt kind of like a (very) unpolished Carol Burnett.  I doubt I'll ever do it again, but it allowed me to check something important off of my To Do List.  I'll never have to regret that I didn't try it!

So, I'm really grateful for community -- in my family, in my neighborhood, with my friends, with my pets, in my garden.  At my office.  In my meditation groups, and at my talks.  And for who knows what lies ahead!  I'm open to it!  Without community and connection, I'm not sure we can ever really get a sense of who we are or what we have to offer.

Anybody know of a nice local choir in need of an alto with a good sense of humor?

Group hug,
MJ
p.s.  Community Alert!!  Don't miss the last kirtan (call & response chanting) for the summer -- this Thursday, June 7th, 7:15 pm at the Shoreline Center for Wholistic Health, 35 Boston St., Guilford!  Andrew and Jamie are going to be off adventuring in Alaska soon and we won't see them again 'til fall.  Come share the love!!

2 comments:

  1. So much in agreement with your feelings, thoughts.
    Love our childselves and embrace out growing older selves.

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  2. Connecting with others known earlier in life is a powerful thing. Curious too, how strong the feelings of "community" come to us when we are on the road or vacation. We can feel so deeply connected and close to people we have just met. Why? The reason is our open hearts not our new surroundings. Why wait to swoon in the rapturous feelings of belonging you speak of! Let's offer open hearts to our lives each day and feel what happens.

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