Reconnecting with Community

Writing is a crazy solitary endeavor. Hours, days, months, sitting “alone” in the Word Crone Cottage. Okay, I’m not alone. I have some accountability partners who check in every morning to give me a reason for hitting the keyboard by 9 am. (Okay, I’ve been rolling in around 9:30.) Even after we check in with one another, there are the other people I talk to throughout the rest of the day. (And yes, 90% of those are imaginary people.)

I’ve been reading a lovely book called LOST CONNECTIONS by Johann Hari, and it made me mindful of the connections I neglected throughout the pandemic. Specifically, I was thinking about the connections we make with our communities. Gone are the days of sitting on the front porch and waving to the neighbors, knowing all the kids by name, seeing the kids playing in the street until the street lights come on. We are no longer a front-porch nation. I live in a very rural area, but on my little road, I always make a point of waving at neighbors as they drive by if I happen to be out in the yard. That’s not quite community building though.

So this weekend, I decided to tackle a project I’ve been contemplating for a while. I built a Little Free Library. Already, I’ve had passing conversations with two of my neighbors. (My son and I just put it up about an hour ago.) Hopefully, it will help forge more contact with my neighbors. (More so when the paint dries and I can actually install some books tomorrow.)

I’m always curious. How do you connect with your community? Is your street pedestrian friendly? I hope so. Ours is a little dodgy. Despite a 35mph speed limit, there is a lot of high-speed traffic on our little dead-end road. Maybe those folks racing to the dead-end will pause, browse a book at that Little Free Library, and hopefully, wave back at that crazy woman who waves at everyone who drives past.

3 thoughts on “Reconnecting with Community”

    1. I love that, Karen! My grandparents’ home had a long front porch. I only ever knew it as the place to sit and swing with my cousins. Recently, I saw a photograph of the front porch… when it wasn’t barricaded by boxwoods that are twice my height, when there was a brick sidewalk to the road, and when the road was dirt.

      1. My road was paved a few years after we moved here. We tore up the cement sidewalk and made a brick one. The front porch was essential during covid. You should add a table and chairs to your little library in the spring!

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