29 August 2008

the beauty of community

When Stef and I lived in Africa, we lived in a house that contained up to a dozen Africans and rotating groups of Americans, New Zealanders, and Australians. That is to say, it was full.

We learned a new sort of community there, one that is not so easily found in the private manner of your average American city. We shared everything, from dishes to clothes to food and money. And it was glorious.

Moving back to America was a little scary insofar as we knew that we would lose that to some degree. I am thankful to say that our new neighborhood has become our new community and that our African ways have translated quite nicely to our new home.

We were blessed to fall into a house that also included a guest house (all 700 square feet of one, anyway). So, our friend Tiffani (and her precious dog Immie) needed a place to call home and the marriage seemed perfect. We carpool with her and eat Sunday lunch together as a family. She helps us pay the bills and we help her stay warm and safe in a city that no longer has any family here for her.

Our friends Daniel and Anna moved in a block away and we share fruit and casseroles, in addition to shovels, paint, and Saturday walks to the nearby taqueria for breakfast. I can imagine that we will only share more as the days go by.

It seems that we have all things in common...

I guess what I am saying is that it's all pretty cool. Now we have to find a way to enfold the other neighbors, the ones we didn't know when we moved in. We'll have them over for a front-yard BBQ on National Night Out in October.

And maybe a few more friends will move in to experience this incredible life with us. There are a couple of houses available on our street. We'll let you use our mower and weed-eater. And maybe you'll have a hedge-trimmer that I can spend a few hours with...

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