Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Today we got a call from my mum. She talked about the bitter cold they are experiencing, and the trials that result from lambing when it's 35 below or colder yet. Then she told us about a fire that took place last night in one of their neighbours' barns. My brother is a fire fighter, and he and a number of the Lacombe Fire Department spent all night out there getting the fire under control. He went home to bed at seven this morning. This morning my mum got a call from someone connected to the local community hall. Who suggested that food be purchased from the caterer in Ponoka, paid for by the community hall association, and delivered to the family who owns the now-destroyed barn. Community. It makes me choke up to think about it. That's what communities are for. That's what the money of a hall board should be used for. During the Depression, people in the rural communities tightened their belts, gritted their teeth, and spent very little money on frivolous things like new clothes or purchased entertainment. They survived by consuming only what was necessary, and living in community. Sharing, when they could give their extra to someone who was lacking. Sending truckloads of shoes to the homeless in the city, since they had extra. Developing a local economy to exchange goods since sending their pigs to the market in the city cost more in shipping than they earned in the selling. They worked in community and they lived in community. They put on plays together and attended church together. They taught each other ways to be thrifty; They listened to radio broadcasts of William Aberhart; They passionately argued in political debates about the viability of Social Credit. I desire community like that. People in the city are so afraid to show need; to be vulnerable to their neighbours. To step out of their front doors and their yards And get to know each other, flaws and talents and all. But we need each other. I pray that in some small way I can create community while we live in the city. And I look forward to the day When I can deliver a meal to the neighbour whose barn just burnt down, Attend a play put on at the community hall, and just stop by for coffee.