Community

I love living where I do. I haven’t been here long, but as I get to know it more and more, I get a sense of what it’s about. I live in a city of about 100,000 people, which is a decent size, but there are a lot of smaller towns close by. I like to explore those. My Auntie came to visit me last week, and we drove the eleven kilometers to one we had been to before, and looked in the shops, and drove around. We went with the express purpose of hitting a church rummage sale that is open every Thursday. The ladies were as nice as could be, they let us stay after it was supposed to be closed, and helped us find anything we were looking for. As a person with visible tattoos and piercings, I’m always a little leery of small town churches, which is a prejudice on my part that I’m working to overcome. But you’d have thought these women had been my neighbours for life. I also scored seven gorgeous pottery mugs, most, if not all, of them handmade, for seven dollars. i have a new favourite coffee mug.

It doesn’t hurt that this area is filled with people of my ethnic background, either. Or at least half of it. My German side squees with delight at Mennonite sausage, and other childhood favourites.

The supermarket sells locally grown produce, locally made preserves, meat that was raised and butchered and processed within driving distance. There’s a real sense of pride in buying local, in knowing that the hands that made what you take home belong to someone you might meet on the street.

It’s all too easy, living in urban centers, to forget where things come from, and lose the sense that there are families who work for what you have. I suppose it’s in my genes, but I think the loss of family farms is one of the greatest tragedies in our culture. I wish I could take everyone I meet on a road trip, to let them look into the eyes of a farmer, his wife and kids, see how they live, how infinitely valuable they are to our society. If we were to lose our Wal-Marts and Superstores, if we had to rely on the land for our livelihood, life would be very different. I kinda want to see that happen. Here, our land is well able to provide for us, and we could easily be self-sufficient. Not that I want to cut us off from the rest of the world, but I’d like to see us take care of ourselves and each other.

Ah, and now, before I become overly sentimental and start to ramble about a Utopian society, I’m going to end this post with a few pictures. My brain’s been in a weird place for the last little while, hence the silence here. But I think the glimpse I had into what my family means to me when my Auntie was here, and what community means when we took a tiny trip out of our way have maybe let a little light in to the place I’ve been hiding.

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~ by Trillian on 09/27/2010.

One Response to “Community”

  1. The photos made me teary eyed. I, too, have a heritage tied to farmers who emigrated to wrest a living from the soil of Alberta. They did it well. BTW I hate Wal Mart – their only measure is how cheap can a product be obtained. An unfortunate example of free enterprise’s under belly.

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