We don’t live or work in a commune and I’m not a hippy or hipster, but there is something of the idea of living communally, sharing resources and helping each other to survive that appeals.
At work in school: A sense of community is important, I think, when surrounded by so many others. Rubbing shoulders can seem so distant, or so close with or without community. Everyone recognising each other and knowing that everyone is working with a common purpose and goal. Helping each other out and saying hello.
In the local area: walking to the shop and knowing people by sight and a few by name so you can say hello and recognise them as part of the locality.
“Hello! How are you?”
“Alright! And you?”
Running: taking my daughter to races and recognising the same faces and names on the start line and collection of parents, grandparents, coaches and team mates dashing from one viewpoint to the next.
Swimming: that balcony ‘mafia’; the dedicated entourage of cheering followers, parents and friends who are willing to drive a one-hundred-mile round trip to watch a thirty second race, or two, or three, whilst sitting for three hours or more, usually more in a baking hot, cramped, poolside seating area and yes, always accompanied by a laptop or books (or both) to use the time between lengths in the best possible way.
Orchestra, drama or band practice: discordant notes that tune and refine their tone, pitch and pace. Arpeggios and scales from soprano to bass, then led by the conductor to chords of emotive embrace and uplifting melody. Carrying emotion and feeding the soul in words or in music, the arts join spirits and lift mood or expel tears with catharsis or rage.
All above seems distant and gone at this moment of pandemic solitude. Yet the communities exist still, virtually, helping each other out and sending best wishes. We’re a worldwide community united by a reminder of our mortality, with no cure or working medication to combat this new, mutating virus. But our need to survive and strive to connect and raise morale persists.
Communities are joining together to support those most vulnerable; others aren’t. I try to ignore the negativity: there is much to be angry about if you let it rumble away, like tremors in the night shaking the earth to its core.
The #DailyWritingChallenge is lovely community of educators supporting each other through the storm to find calm. A haven of safety and support to talk to each other. Distanced but definitely not socially detached.
Look to the blue sky, reach out and soar… Together in formation, an ensemble. Community.