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Monday, January 27, 2014

We Need Each Other...

Lessons Learned

Each Other

A block party. In northern Illinois January. With wind chills registering in the forty below zero range for a few weeks in a row, we hadn’t seen the sweet face of a neighbor in a number of days. Layered up in insulated underwear, flannels, lined jeans, and wooly socks we remained holed up indoors awaiting a break in the unrelenting polar vortex or something of the sort. We were most assuredly safe and warm, which in and of itself was indeed a blessing, although quite completely disconnected, insulated, isolated really, from the world out there even next door; kind of lonely.  Then came the phone call which was an invitation to a neighborhood block party; a lifeline. With snow to our knees and scarves around our faces, we excitedly trudged through the elements carrying our dish-to-pass to the home of the block party planners. The glowing warmth inside pulled each and every neighbor right into the happily boisterous block party. Glorious interactions from serious to hilarious and everything in between, catching up on life, and watching the fireplace fire sparkling in everyone’s eyes, it was a critical and delightful evening of re-connecting. We need each other. We do better and feel better and everything better when we exist in community. A smile shared is a double blessing.  Laughter shared makes the heart joyful. Tears shared makes the burden a bit lighter. A meal shared builds community, builds connection, builds a bridge. A block party in January? Absolutely yes!