I had the pleasure of spending the last two evenings with friends of yore. I could look around the room at either event and see friendly faces; faces of people with whom I have years of history and newer faces of those connected to old friends through love or marriage. And then there are the babies. Wow. All my friends are multiplying like mad right now. It's a pretty incredible stage of life. All the women sit around and swap birth stories, as those who are expecting or are hoping to expect listen on in great interest. All the men shake their head at the fact that you can put 2 or more women of age 25-35 in a room and within minutes they are discussing child birth and/or parenting. Then, the men sneak off to do whatever men do.
It's a wonderful sense of warmth and relaxation when you're around people who you've known and loved for years.
On the drive home tonight, I was talking with one of my dearest friends, the Maid of Honour at my wedding, Kate. We don't get to see each other very often since she moved to the States for school several years ago. We spoke about the importance of community, the importance of having a solid ground of support in close physical proximity, especially when raising a child. Ever heard the phrase "It takes a village to raise a child?" I am a firm believer in that concept. I am so fortunate to have so many people in my life with whom I would trust to take care of my little one. I value their advice and their input. I think as a society, we have become way too caught up in our own little worlds and forget how much we can impact each other's worlds. Us city dwellers especially forget the importance of community. I believe that a lot of people who live in cities live in a constant state of fear, which keeps them isolated from others as a form of self preservation. It's really a sad state of being.
I can identify though. I don't know if it's fear so much for me, rather pride. When I am in a place of need, I have had problems accepting help. I do believe that I've gotten better at receiving help from others, but I do still struggle with it. It's totally a pride thing. I feel like I am insufficient as a person if I accept help. I feel like I should be able to do everything, even when dealing with trying times, to prove that I am a strong, independent woman. A very wise woman once said to me during a tough time in my life that it was simply my time to receive blessings from others and that I should allow others to bless me. She said that when I was in a better place in my life, it would be my turn to give and that I would want the person in need to receive the blessing I offer. It's all about the giving and receiving (very appropriate for the season, wouldn't you say?). I do feel like I've been receiving more often than giving over the last couple of years, but I guess that just means that I'll appreciate the giving all the more when it's my turn to do so. I look forward to the opportunity to bless others. I just pray that my eyes will be open wide enough to see where there is a need. In fact, I pray that all of us would have a bit of an awakening and be able to spot when others are in need. Maybe then we can start reaching out to each other and rekindle that sense of community that seems to be so lacking in our day and age.