Thursday, August 4, 2011
Community Is Where You Make It and Where You Take It
Around the age of 25 I wrote in a manifestation journal that I aimed to be an active part of a community. I was a nomad. Never settling down as badly I wanted to. I wanted volunteering, a Yoga studio, a neighborhood, knowing people and waving to them at the mall, helping people and a calendar full of activities filling up my life. I wanted roots. A home. A home of my very own with my own garage and all my junk building dust inside it.
So I left a situation where I did not feel any of that forming and I moved to a city where I felt I wanted to create my place in it's community. In Savannah, Georgia, or anywhere one should move, it takes time. There are layers of groups of people who are the fiber to the fabric of the quilt that makes up any old American town. And you have to mingle within all the layers to create your own square and design and this can take years. I was getting there and loving it. Had my core Yoga studio where I taught and had a mini group of regulars. I had my other core studio and favorite teacher who I was hoping would teach me all the many things I had not yet mastered in my craft. I was meeting different parts of the community. Working at festivals. Learning about the progression and progresses of the town. I even found a house I wanted to stay in forever! In the garage was my junk. And then my beloved wanted to join the Army, right in the middle of a war.
Time to dust off and organize my boxes and junk......again. And not just for one move, but for many sure moves in the years to come soon. And then to say goodbye to "my" community along with all my plans for the way I wanted life to be.
Two homes later (and lots of pouting), I find myself in Okinawa, Japan. Far, far from home. Far from English speaking people. Far from my art school, my Yoga joints, my parks, my stores, my friends, my bars, my dog, my cars. And before I knew it, and without even trying, a community emerged. And a community, for me, not just on my island, but on line, on the phone, on the computer, in traveling, by mail, in letters and cards, on Skype, through meditations, on planes and boats, smiles and hugs, tears and laughter, through photo albums and books, and across my laptop keyboard in blogs. I had the strongest sense of community I had ever imagined in my life and it has been internationally.
My manifestation wish.....had manifested and not at all how I intended. That is usually how it happens, right? How we least expect.
I have to say, that the military community was the most surprising sense of love and generosity I have ever felt in my entire life. This is my new Yoga breath. I have been blessed. I am a lucky girl and have had a pretty great life as lives go. But the kindness and giving I have been shown since overseas is absolutely mind blowing. It has taught me how to give from now, for the rest of my days. There is one way to say it, how I will from now on and forever be: A BIG GIVER. We have no family over here, so just immediately become family for one another. You just do. It is the only way. It is the very human spirit shining through rough times. There is nothing as kind as a military wife. I have never met anyone else so amazing.
If you need a hand when you have to go to the hospital, or find directions to a new park, are out of cash or need a lift somewhere, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to listen, the military community is there for you. And this is how the entire world should operate.
I have become part of a book club, both in person and virtually. I have been given the fanciest baby hand me downs from swings to over priced, like new baby carriers. I have tasted home cooked food, babysat, had folks baby sit for me, had help with child rearing, volunteered at amazing functions, been given my own art show, had help with groceries and auto problems and I have soaked up the huge love and fully intend to give it back as much if not more.
Lately, I see friends and co-workers on line from Australia to the UK, the US and back to Japan. I appreciate my crazy husband so much. After fighting with him for roughly 8 months about his joining the Army, I finally gave in. I agreed to it all when I realized, and for the soul reason, that anything I opposed this much has got to be my greatest opportunity for learning, lessons and growth. Plus he has this unknown chemical, I assume, that makes it so I cannot stay away from him no MATTER WHAT. Bastard.
And it has been my greatest adventure. The past few years have been the best in my life. Life keeps getting better, too. I am so incredibly grateful for the people who I have met. The people who have driven for me, shown me the way, helped me, promoted my art, painted for me, moved my family and our junk, provided for me, loved me, pushed me, supported me, called me and I cannot even see an end to this list.
It is my duty to give back to my community. And the community I have found, is a global one.
Who'd uh thunk?!
Someone up there is dreaming a dream for me, bigger than I could have ever imagined for myself, and I live and bow in humble gratitude.