Saturday, October 13, 2007

Community Workday

Today was a community workday where community members work together to accomplish a job. Usually it is an outdoor garden-type job although sometimes we work together for a big, deep clean of the common house. Today (and tomorrow!) we are spreading new mulch. We had a few dump truck loads dropped off earlier in the week. Everyone worked together - pulling weeks in the areas that needed mulch, loading and delivering mulch via wheelbarrows to the sites, and raking the mulch to the desired depth. People don't just work around "their space" to patchwork a finished job, but work together everywhere to complete the whole job.


The joking and laughing that took place is corny and wonderful all at the same time... there was a lot of singing of "Mulch-o, mulch-o man" and repeating of "What a tu-mulch-ous job this is" and "Thank you very mulch!" LOL

Not everyone is able to participate in a physical way, but almost everyone helped in whatever way they could. Our neighbor recently had foot surgery, but she brought milk and cookies as an afternoon snack. Another neighbor who is in hospice and actively dying still wanted to contribute (what does that say about community?!?) so she paid a needy high school boy to do her share of the work. Even Jack helped by directing people where to take the mulch...

I can not begin to express the feeling I get when working closely with my neighbors. I call it "the sense of community" but unless you have experienced it, you don't really know what it means. The cooperation, the fun, the overall sense of accomplishment, the feeling of belonging and contributing. Matt says that he feels like he is Amish and is attending a barn raising. I have come close to the feeling when volunteering at various events but sharing it in your home with your neighbors is an even greater experience.

My wish tonight is that everyone is able to experience this sense of community. It is quite extraordinary.

4 comments:

Ashlee said...

nice to have that cohesive feeling!

Marie Green said...

Very cool. I've been thinking that what we are missing is a sense of community. And I used those exact words. We live in a great community, and we have an active social life, but for the most part, we are missing the day-to-day comfortable-ness that comes from having "community"- where things don't have to be planned in advance and the house doesn't need to be cleaned in advance because the people in your house are there enough that they feel like they belong. Make sense?

Anyway, I have been striving to achieve this more and more- I think it takes time... And I am SO interested in your cohousing situation. (Have you read my post about me wanting to start a commune???)

I'm jealous, but in a good way- a way that makes me more motivated to find this for myself...

Penny said...

That's cool :) And makes boring types of work go quicker!

Sara said...

Just wanted to say yeah go longhorns..LOL

you are so lucky. I don't even know my neighbors names. I swear I have never talked to them. They are all so old compared to me like in their 30s..hahaha