Thursday, June 26, 2008


My blog has been mute for a few days because I've been cogitating on the idea of community. It is an idea that periodically grabs at me and insists on my attention. Sometimes this idea is focused on church and building community there, at other times I've thought about what it would be like to live in intentional community or an eco housing group. I've read materials from the neo-monastic movement which includes family units, and read a considerable amount about the Amish and lately I've discovered Transition Towns.

Today I am thinking about community in terms of the informal on-line relationships we have in the form of these blogs. Now, most folks could ride next to each other on public transit and never recognize each other, and when someone stops posting we have no way to reach out, but we share a lot about our passions. Those who care about the earth challenge each other stretch in ways we might not other wise do (I'm feeling a little warm right now in the late afternoon with no AC). The independence days group prepares to be self-sufficiet, shares tips and encouraging each other without the isolationist bunker mentality.

The Merriam Webster On-line dictionary defines community thus:

1: a unified body of individuals: as a: state, commonwealth b: the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself (the problems of a large community) c: an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location d: a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society (a community of retired persons) e: a group linked by a common policy f: a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests (the international community) g: a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society (the academic community)

Most(not all)of the posts I read and comment on are those who are at least cognizant of Peak Oil, Global Climate Change, doing what we can to Power Down and provide for ourselves and families and loved ones. This is where we meet the 1b,d,e,f,g of the defination of community.

In reading blogs today, two comments have caught my eye. One was on the food storage group posted by The Matriarch of the Ramping up blog when she said she had read in a local paper about a
retired woman that installed solar panels and a windmill in her
yard to go off-grid. She thought right away, "She is one of US!"

The other I read at Frau's site where she posted 7 reasons for hope #7 was:
"You, dear readers, are the lifeboats. Anyone developing sustainability libraries, skills and techniques, who have gardens and who use low-energy technologies, are the hope for the future. You will be able to teach your neighbors and families new and lighter ways to live. You may be able to save lives or prevent trees from being cut for wood. You will be able to make a difference."

This community had no borders; memebers move in and out without any expection of committment; and without electricity we would be lost to one another; but I do find great value in what people have spent their time and energy posting and I value it when others stop by to read what I'm spending time and energy on.

Gazing into the future is kind of scary right now and I'm glad to be doing it with thinking bloggers far and wide who are willing to do something about what they see. Besides someone needs to add levity cuz I've gone too mushy and sentemental.

Next, we need our own town where everyone is allotted acreage for whatever floats their boats (animals, gardens, ponds of fish, and forests)so we don't get lost if the electricity shuts off.

1 comment:

Tara said...

Ahhh, but could we ever agree on where to live? ;-)

You're so right, though. I too find it fascinating that we can so easily be open and friendly with folks that we for all intents and purposes don't know at all. I love it, though. It's one thing when my friends and family are supportive - that's sort of expected. But among our friends and family, my husband and I are pioneers, so while they can cheer us on, they can't provide advice, insight, commiseration or empathy. They can't understand why winning the smallest battles is so exciting for us. Only you folks can do that, because you're doing all these things too, and you understand what we're going through. It makes a huge difference, and if the power does indeed go out, I'll feel very sad.