Community Changes Us
The Golden Time
It’s quieter now as the tourists head home from our small beach town. Our streets are less busy, except for the sounds of the school buses during their morning and afternoon intervals. The locals come out to the beach too as Lake Michigan and our town stays warmer into the fall while the inland towns grow cool. To a local, this is our golden time and after all these years we are locals, too.
Feels Like A Community
We didn’t grow up in this town, but we chose to live here out of all the places we could have. We put down roots here, bought a home, and found a church and made friends. Despite our workplaces moving further away and longer commutes, we have continued to stay. We have volunteered in local non-profits and our kids schools. They have played in little leagues and we’ve cheered for our kids and their friends at high school sporting events. We have joined with neighbors for annual parades and picnics, when our whole town comes alive and really feels like a community.
Found What We're Looking For
Community is what we were looking for all those years ago when we were fresh out of college and deciding where to live. We didn’t even think of leaving this state, but we moved somewhere where we had no family or friends. Even though it took time, we made our family here and our lives have been richer for it.
We All Want Community
I think, deep down, we all want community, that connection. My daughter left Germany after living there for 6 months, and even though she loved the country, she really was grieving the community she left behind. My son spent the spring and summer exploring our country’s national parks out west. It was so funny to hear how he subconsciously compared each town he encountered to our little beach town. He was looking for community and now as he's living in a new town across the country, he will carve out his own place.
Not Meant to be Alone
Our family has learned that we aren’t meant to be alone in this life, that we really are built for community, and how our lives are enriched when we have that sense of community around us. It can be hard to reach out to others. It takes vulnerability and our lives may be busy and full already, but if we do, we and the people around us will be better for it.