My friend Adele has got me thinking again. Good friends have a habit of doing that. She is all about the term revillaging right now. In a similar vein to the need to rewild and get back to nature she’s sensing in us all a need to get back to the idea that we need a village around us. Well not just the idea but actual people.
Most often that metaphor is used for new mothers, to be honest I found it all a bit hard to stomach when people would tell me that it takes a village to raise a child and as a good friend said to me over coffee today, well where is the f***ing village then?
I slowly found my people through our NCT group, until the small ones went to school we met faithfully each week and a small part of the village was found. We also had a tiny church who felt like a significant part of the village until it closed down and now we are part of a bigger church where people are busy (including us) and it’s hard to maintain the structure to live village like with others. Mostly I hold out arms of love in passing on a Sunday morning and feel the ache of it not being enough.
It’s not just parents who need a village. I think it takes a village to live a flourishing life for us all. Revillaging is insanely appealing but for some reason I feel exhausted thinking about it in our world right now.
So here are my rambling questions and thoughts. Honestly I hope this can be the start of a conversation. I want some solidarity, answers and advice. I want to be challenged where my thinking has got a bit negative. I want a hug and to be told it’s going to be alright.
I love the concept of a village around me but at the moment I feel swamped by the idea of what that means. Frankly I would love an actual village to be in, one location, one set of people, one shared life. I feel the problem of location. I want one space and yet the supposed village I am part of extends across a lot of space and time. There are loads of connections with people. How do we know where to start? Where to invest relationship? Who to push towards? Most people I know seem uber busy, and for some reason our diary is super full but still I feel no nearer to having this village thing.
Maybe the problem is one of my expectations being too big, I want community/village life to look everydayish. I want to be able to walk to peoples houses, to share houses and gardens, to naturally overlap more so it feels less exhausting to push out into people’s lives, never quite sure if you are wanted or welcome.
I want this and yet I feel overwhelmed by how to create it or even if it’s realistic or actually just wanting people to reach out to me rather than me doing the leg work. I want to be part of change but I am tired and I want it to be simple.
Back in the summer I was in some angst about this whole thing and I came to the conclusion that lots of this is about showing up in places and trusting that time will do it’s work. I think that’s still true but I’m now wondering what the end result is? Will I ever be content with our level of community? Will I ever think it’s enough? I know my craving for connection seems endless and I have trouble looking at what I have and being grateful. I wonder how I can rest in what we have whilst being generous to those who seem to have more and deeper connections.
Maybe my materialistic consumer mindset is winning when it comes to relationships as well. Maybe I see community as a commodity rather than a flesh and blood reality in which I and you together are working on loving each other through this life.
I don’t know. All I have are some jumbled questions and some angst. I want to see what I have and be thankful. I want to lean into the village spaces of our local area/school/church and be open to the people in front of me. And yes I want and crave the deep connection stuff of being known and truely knowing. I want to know the Other who dwells in all these connections. I wonder if my deepest needs for connection are met in that Other and the dance which has existed before time. I wonder if I knew that more then I would be freer to rejoice in others connections and be content with the ones I have.
Over to you. What do you make of all this? Do you have a village, do you want a village? How do we get a village? How lonely are you? How can that be eased?