One of my dear friends is a painter who sees the world through her amazing artist eyes. When she was the newbie in our neighborhood, her heart was sensitive to how to integrate her family into the community. Driving one day she noticed how birds perched on a telephone wire seemed to choose when to gather, and who to pause with. As she watched the birds sit, and then come and go, those birds spoke to her of how we create community, who we keep counsel with, and even the dynamic nature of the process.
She had moved in down the street, and it was my love of her work that initially drew us together. We shared a moment of connection on my front porch steps, and lingered like the birds chatting on the telephone wire, before we flew off back to our hectic lives. Over the years, through working on house projects, painting together, building a club, learning new skills together, cooking meals together, playing cards as couples, we’d pause from the “flights” our lives demanded (me flying around in my minivan and she in her Mini Cooper) to sit like those birds on a wire and talk over tea. This is how we became friends.
That is community. That is how community begins and how it grows. These one-on-one connections expand and extend and become a beautiful web of interconnectedness. Through words, stories, shared experiences and common interests, we find inspiration to create our communities.
My friend’s keen observations became the main theme of a series that has become her signature. The beauty of her Birds on a Wire series, and her reflections on community, have inspired me to embrace and celebrate more the important place it has in our lives. We live in such an individualistic society that our personal empowerment sometimes overshadows the significance of our need for each other. Like the ingredients of an exceptional recipe, or the materials used to construct a quality home, a community is only as good as the people who comprise it. Because the people are who ignite an idea, imagine a future, share an event, take the bull by the horns, see a need and fill it, spread the word about a new business, open their home to new families, bring a meal when there’s an illness, invest in a neighbor or believe in a student, give witness to struggles and celebrate successes.
Our magazine is your “wire.” Let us pause to read the stories that have been inspired by our community, to drink in the beautiful photographs that paint the story of us. Email your editor and publisher, or better yet reach out and enjoy a cup of coffee together. Let us stop here in the pages of our publication each month and celebrate like birds on a wire, before we fly off back to our busy lives. You inspire us.