Yesterday my friend Nick and his lovely wife Kate stopped by for a quick tour of the neighborhood.  I have been on a campaign to get them to move to our neck of the woods.  Its been unrelenting really and a bit over the top.  But missions are missions…

Nick is  work friend–and a relatively new one at that.  I have lately tried to make real distinctions and firm boundaries between my work and private life.  But Nick is one of those rare exceptions.  He deals with me in a way that is completely and utterly accepting.  He and his wife seem to me to be the kind of people that you want to live right around the corner, close enough to walk there in the span of time it takes to make a drink.  Spontaneous and warm.  The kind of people who would walk in your back door without knocking when they need something from your cupboard.  Who step over the clutter without blinking an eye.  People you could invite for dinner just as you are throwing the food on the table. 

And it if for this reason that they must live here in our community–be part of our tribe–this ever expanding group of people bound together by the strings of everyday life and a thousand tiny acts of kindness.  We eat at each others tables, love each others children, weed each others gardens and occasionally clean up each others messes.

Last night my friend Eric organized a potluck in the park.  All evening people streamed through carrying yummy healthy food.  Children rolled in dirt and were scolded for wandering off too far.  When Max fell on the pavement there were at least 5 grownups he consulted to share his pain.  

And for every person I saw that I knew and loved, I met two more people. 

I had been worried about the whole school thing because I feared secretly that I would lose part of my community if Max didn’t go to school with a certain group of kids.  But now, I see how silly that really is.  

I belong to a tribe–not a cliche.  While cliches contract and are quick to exclude based on a finite list shared experiences, tribes expand in all directions and delight in new connections, new reasons to stop by, new friends to welcome.   The tribe I belong to won’t change–it will grow.  And me, I’ll grow with it.

One Response to “Tribe”

  1. Rum, Serendipity and the Lass…a story about birthday cake, friendship at first sight and learning to trust yourself - Meg Casey Says:

    […] A year ago today I was sitting with my dear friend Jen Lemen at a neighborhood potluck in the park. We were talking about my fruitless efforts to get Max’s dad to be more active in his life. I was frantic about what would come of him without a strong male role model. I was interrupted when suddenly, chaos broke out at the picnic table. Being a curious girl, I stopped my anxious rant and I wandered over to see what all the fuss was. A bunch of neighbors I barely knew were singing Happy Birthday to some guy. […]