Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Grounding myself in the community

There are plenty of terrible things which happen in our world, and they are enough to make me despair. How about you? If we had a conversation and talked about them, it would be good to know we shared the concerns, though we might disagree about which ones were most worrying -the lack of safety for women and girls or the incarceration of refugees or the separation of children from the parents or the melting polar ice caps.... there is plenty to worry about.

One of the ways I keep myself grounded is by being involved in caring communities which band together to do small and large acts of kindness and generosity. They give me lived experience of that other dimension of reality -the one which also exists often beyond the scope of the media and politics, but which just quietly goes on caring and sharing. 

I have mentioned this before, but I am always overwhelmed by the West Australian Quilters' Association and its gifts of quilts to women's refuges and rehab centres and the like. This was just part of the pile going off from our meeting this month. I spotted one of mine in here. You can't always know where our donated quilts will end up, but this time I know it is off to a woman and her littlies in a refuge. I hope it encourages them as they try to make a new start. 

I have been experimenting with putting spare produce outside my place for people to take if they need it. As our street is pretty quiet, I decided I needed to use social media to let people know it was here. I have found a neighbourhood "Buy Nothing" group, which is a lovely way of sharing our excess -not just crops but anything excess. Free, with courtesy and kindness. 

I have also been playing with these blocks which feature bees and butterflies and dragons and such. They remind me of the gentle companionship and support of the plants and insects in my garden, who all support it. It is my aim to make my garden free of any kind of nasty poisons -I haven't got there yet as I object strongly to snails eating my veggies -but anyway we have to have goals, don't we? 

I hope this will become a wall hanging near my front door. 

The walk to the shops gives me a lot of lovely things to look at -here my neighbour is growing a spectacular flowering shrub over the fence to where I can enjoy it too. I love having a shop I can walk to -if we want local shops, we need to shop locally. Both the shops and the gardens remind me of the community which supports me. I like to live 'sustainably" but do not imagine I can do it alone. We all need other people. 

This final picture is of donated groceries for the people who are going to be cut off income support whilst they are having their refugee claims processed. It was a lovely thing to receive these donations today, on World Refugee Day, and know that there is a lot of goodwill which does not get expressed clearly but which is the 'groundswell' of our communities. I support The Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees in Perth. 

I hope you have a few instances of community to keep you grounded, too. 

1 comment:

Meg Hopeful said...

What a lovely post about such beautiful kindness. It reminded me that there are indeed many kind and caring people in our world. I think it's really important to take these actions ourselves for without this kind of personal conviction we'd be waiting a heck of a long time for "government" to get going or to change their policies.

At our place right now, as Winter really sets in, we are putting together the little packs we make each year for those sleeping rough. During the year, I buy extras of basic toiletries and socks and things like that and we package them up into care packs. My son helps and makes a special tag with a message for each person the pack will make its way to.

I like the way your are leaving your excess produce out for others. I have recently heard about Grow Free carts and think it's a wonderful idea when there is surplus to share. Meg:)