^^ These ladies have been an integral part of my community over the past few years. I love that our crazy dream became a bigger reality than we could have ever expected. And I also love that our tagline is "cultivating creativity & community"

People crave community. Most do, at least. And many people seem to complain about the lack of community in their lives. And we seem to think other people will somehow fix that for us. The thing is, we are the only ones that can do something about it. We literally have the be the ones to create the community we crave. You certainly can't have community if you don't participate in it. 

I have learned so much over the past year + about community from a beautiful soul in my little community, Bonnie. She oozes love and community everywhere she goes. She genuinely cares about other people. She talks to people. She hugs and embraces our babies. She is always inclusive and never exclusive. She has been a beautiful living example to me of what I want my community to look like, of how I want to be towards other in my community. Open, vulnerable, helpful.  

^^ Bonnie does a "friendship bake" every Thursday for her amazing bread. See the line in the background? That speaks for itself. And she begins every friendship bake with a story time for the kids.

Who is your community?
Remember, YOU are creating the community you crave. So it can look however you want. My community probably looks random to many. But it is made up of all the people I am happy to help out, ones that I would call when I am in need and I want to be in community with. It includes my close friends, some family, families from the kids school, my awesome bread lady Bonnie. Heck, I would even consider our awesome mailman Jared as part of my community. I talk to him daily, he cares, we care. Your community can literally look however you want it to...and you have only yourself to blame for how your community looks and feels.

How do you create community?
Talk to people. There is a lady I walk to almost every single day either doing to or from the kids school. She've given me garden clippings, I listen to her talk about her painful divorce. Be willing to help people out. It doesn't always have to be grand gestures. It can be food or flowers from your garden, loaning them a tool they need or even helping them move a large piece of furniture. Just the act of being there for someone, no matter how small it is, is how community is built. Turning your eyes away from need is almost what our society has become. Community is the opposite of that. It's openly helping others. 

One of the biggest things about being in community with anyone is GENUINELY CARING ABOUT OTHERS. You want people to care about you, right? You want people to listen when you talk? Then you have to do the same for others. Open up your life to people. Invite people over to your home. Not comfortable with that, then invite them to coffee or to go on a walk. If you want to get to know people and be in community with others, you have to let them in your life and be willing to get invested in theirs. 

Building a community takes time. It takes effort. It takes vulnerability and that is a hard one. But I promise you, in the end, the payback is great. 

Without a sense of caring, there can be on sense of community.
- Anthony J. D'Angelo

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