Sunday, April 19, 2015

Community: Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Common Experiences

I've had a creeping awareness the last few weeks that has grown steadily more pronounced. When this happens, I pay attention. My mind has a delightful way of laying seeds, or foreshadowing if you will, for me. This time Community keeps coming up.

Tony King and Randy McCharles
stop for a photo op during tour of
new When Words Collide venue.
My writing communities bring this out often for me, but lately it has been more expansive. I was standing listening to the tour of our new venue for When Words Collide and thinking how lucky I am to live in a city with a vibrant, active writing community. Then while sitting in the last Alberta Romance Writers' Association workshop I had the same thought. There are writers who have no local organization to be part of, no larger writing family to learn from, support and feel supported, have dinner with, and even "argue" over the best course of action. There are online communities, and I am grateful for them, but sometimes I just need to call my critique group and enjoy their wisdom and conversation over beers and dinner.

Calgary Horticultural Society's
Garden Show had multiple buildings
filled with information...and plants
Last weekend, for the first time, I went to the Calgary Horticultural Society's Garden Show. I had seen one of the bridge banners and thought I'd check it out. I love gardens, I am a total putterer, but having a thriving indoor edible plant community is a geeky goal of mine. So far no dice on the thriving part yet, but it is fun and I keep trying. And I learned there are way more local garden communities and initiatives that I had suspected. How cool is that?!

On Friday I was writing in one of our local libraries and saw I poster up on the Community Board for the Relocalize Fair that would be on Saturday at one of our local community halls. Again this synchronicity of the theme community, and it looked interesting, so I decided to go. Again, a whole new world was opened to me and the power and spirit of a vibrant community was illustrated again and again. I went to three workshops/presentations (I learned from missing out on the garden ones last weekend!) and am so grateful I did!

Local economy expert and author
Michael Shuman presenting at the
Relocalize Fair in Calgary, Canada.

There is something primal about sharing and learning knowledge from each other. Our local communities can help provide an opportunity for that. Sometimes I allow myself to get caught up in the tasks of life and not the living of life. Participating in community activities, sharing knowledge, sharing common experiences, inspires me. The synchronicity of noticing the opportunities to reach out and engage in more of my local communities was a gentle reminder to get involved, play, learn, be part of my wider community.

What are your favourite ways to engage and participate in your local communities?

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