Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Roots of Community

The memory of place and the connections we have to its spaces, the human drama that plays out in its folds and crevices, the dynamics of the traverse through its pathways and streets, all create a deep experience of rooting in place. It's important to weave this fabric of life into our communities, and create places that engage and nurture, so that people can pursue their lives and fill them with meaning. This is the ideal behind the founding of our country, the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness as outlined in our Declaration of Independence.

It's not the declaration of consumerism, as our now corporate culture has declared us; not as citizens, but to simply go out out and "shop" as former President Bush famously directed the people of this country upon the impact of the jets into the Twin Towers. The cogs of a market society have broken our connections and created a world of instant gratification rather than a slower, deeper push into the realities of the natural world and its inhabitants that inform wisdom in living.

Like a tree planted by stream beds that gives shade and oxygen for many lifetimes, strong roots hold firm in the crosswinds of change and financial upheaval that our global culture brings to us, as well as the turbulence of climate change to come. Building community is crucial to our collective success in weathering the storms. As it stands right now, we're building corporate and investment shells that drain the life out of people and the natural world; that which gives us life and freedom.