Many months ago our agent showed us a home with a lovely front porch and awesome floor plan but new to the area we stared in abject dismay at the antique red tractor across the street and the house next door with peeling paint and faded swing set. We revisited this house this past Friday five months after living in this funky town, this time completely charmed by the red tractor and tottering swing. We put in the offer. Discussed where the rug would go. The color we’d paint the master. And then thanks to shady situations with the builder and his agent we learned this house would not be ours.
I long for community. I tried finding it in my faith-based community, but as much as I try it’s not working. I long for authentic connections– anything less and I struggle to find the motivation to engage. Still, I try. And each time I do for the sake of my son, I get hurt time and again, and lately thanks to a series of jaw dropping events I’ve felt downright pummeled. I’m utterly thankful for my dear friends and the love my son knows through them; I just wish I also had a collective community he could turn to, a place at large where he belonged.
Today we had pizza outdoors in the village, two blocks from the house we almost had. Children walked by drinking soda from the corner shop. Parents pushed strollers. Waleed cried and two men in matching purple striped shirts and trumpets en route to the Square turned to him and played songs quieting his cries as a mother with three balloons shared one with him. I stepped into the park, greeting mothers I’ve met over the months as strangers paused to let my son pet their puppies and it really felt like we’re all in this together, and I realized faith-based or not this little village tucked away in the heart of this impersonal sprawling city is a true community.
It took losing the home I fell in love with, it took this ache in my heart to see my love for this charming little village, red tractor, chain-link fence and all. Our home here will be smaller, it might be older, and most certainly it won’t have the classic-clicker two-car garage, but it will be in a place where strangers stop to say hello, where we can plant flowers in the community garden, and where there is genuine kindness. Faith based or not, this little village is what community really is, in all the ways that matter.
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