I work with clients in all parts of the English speaking world. But I actually live in a very small, vibrant, ‘artsy’ community near Vancouver, BC accessible only by ferry.
I don’t consider myself particularly active on the community front on the whole. We did, however, live in co-housing in North Vancouver for almost 5 years from 2000-2005, then returned to the Sunshine Coast. I wasn’t wild about the focus on meetings there, however I felt a strong sense of belonging, of being part of an active, functioning social unit.
Yesterday I gave a workshop at our local library, here on the Sunshine Coast, just a 10 minute walk from my home, as part of their free January Health Series. My topic was Navigating the Midlife Maze – Body, Mind & Spirit Coaching for the Midlife Woman.
On my way into the library I stopped and visited with my ex-therapist from 15 years ago. She was so interested in my work that she dropped everything and attended the workshop. There were a few other familiar faces in the room.
A couple of minutes into the program a small, dark-haired woman entered the room and took a seat at the back on a tiny child’s chair. She said she was from the local newspaper, was perimenopausal, and had to fight for editorial permission to cover this event. She felt it was important for women to hear about the midlife topic. We welcomed her into our group.
The workshop was well received. Afterwards I wandered down to the art co-op to visit my friend who was working there then took myself out for coffee. As I began walking home I met another friend, out for a walk. He turned right around and walked me all the way home as he had no particular destination in mind and wanted to visit with me. Later we drove to the upper town for dinner, where we ran into more people we knew and listened to jazz.
It was a wonderful day of community for me. It helped me acknowledge to myself just how important it is to me to have that sense of belonging and participation in something bigger than myself.
Whether we live in a tiny little town or a huge city that’s broken up into distinct neighbourhoods, I believe we all yearn to be part of a community. I hope you have one that you can call home.
Copyright 2008 Ellen Besso