Community: Birthed in the Simple Spaces

This post won’t be long. While this month on the blog is all about dreams and community, I wanna share just a smidge on community in the simple spaces. I touched on it here, but can’t hurt to dive a little more into it, right?

So, in the last five years, I have found community to be a powerful force that helps to shape my life. As I’ve journeyed in learning what it means to be a friend, to show up for others, I’ve discovered the beauty of community being birthed in simple spaces.

What’s a simple space you may ask? I would define it has a mundane, routine, everyday moment. The simple space is the in-between, the valley if you will. The simple space goes beyond the initial meeting. It’s the moments after inviting, building, nurturing connection.

I remember being in my post-Cali season, trying to process the community I’d left behind and find/open myself up to creating community and connection where I was. It was tough. Community and how to create, sustain, and nurture it looked different than what I’d experienced in California and I wasn’t sure how to navigate that. I also wrestled with being in a familiar place and being a completely different person. My heart craved something that I felt I couldn’t and would never find.

Fast forward to the year 2015. 2015 was the year of connection. It was the year that I began to find my people, build new connections and breathe life into old ones. It was all very exciting and healing for my heart and it all---the building and the reconciling---happened in simple spaces.

It came to life at monthly brunch dates that turned into game nights. While the initial meeting was at a youth camp, the relationships were sustained in the simple spaces, like knitting dates on Tuesday evenings or endless jokes and memes in a group chat that to this day leaves me in tears; and from there it has turned into hiking trips, weekends lounging in sweats, trips to the mountains, weekly dates eating lomo saltado, and so much more. I can write a laundry list of how the relationships I hold dear were all sustained and cultivated outside of the highlight reels.

Honestly, I think that’s what makes community what it is: the cultivation and nurturing of relationship outside of the spotlight. Building deep rooted, authentic community is not just connecting in the highest of highs or lowest of lows. I think it is anchored in being right there in the middle--the valley. In my opinion, being able to show up and simply live life with others, walk out the day to day equips you to show up for the highs and lows. When I think of spaces I’ve had to process the last year, that spaces that were hard or uncomfortable, the hearts I leaned into and opened myself up to were hearts that I had spent time building and connecting with in the simple spaces doing the seemingly insignificant things.

I’m not sure where you may land with community and friendship. It may be a sore spot for you or something you have also found to be fruitful in your life. Wherever you land, I encourage you to not forsake the simple spaces as you pursue intentional connection and community. Show up even when it’s not a highlight moment; show up when it isn't easy. I have found and created some golden moments by simply showing up in the middle and I hope you will too.