I grew up with three brothers and one sister. Wether we were in a big house with laughs, crying, and arguments bouncing off of the walls; or if we were playing the “quiet” game developed by my eldest brother in a small Brooklyn apartment, there was community. Even in my home, with a toddler who is aware of my every facial expression and a husband who is so sensitive to souls it’s scary. There was and has always been a sense of community that circles me closely.
New York City with its stale air and humid days, I want more community from this city I love so. A pleasant conversation in a taxi, an exchange about how delightful a chocolate bar is once it’s right about to melt but not quite melting.
I’ve learned to be proactive about it. Lately, I’ve been the one to compliment a woman wearing the bravest and most ridiculously outstanding neon orange overalls. The one who will be the first to say how beautifully manicured you look with two kids a dog and all. The people pleaser in me is quite happy, ‘cuz saying a compliment and receiving a smile in return is just beautiful.
Being proactive for community means, having barbecues and going to some, and all the while ignoring the calorie counter in your head; all for the sake of having community. Or it means, actually walking slowing and glancing at my neighbors; smiling and nodding, willingness to pursue conversations when the opportunity arises and enjoying such conversations. Beautiful, heart filling community. It’s something. Especially when you obtain it in a city of millions.
Photos, of Peter’s birthday barbecue in our backyard (which is actually right in front of a carriage house!)