Friday, August 19, 2016

Getting In, Part 14: Community

As we packed the car to drive my daughter to college, we ran into one of her preschool teachers, who happens to live in our building. She, of course, congratulated my daughter, and asked where she was going and what she'd be studying. And then she continued on our way and we continued with our packing. I couldn't help but be moved, though, by the full circle feeling of it all, which, I suppose, has struck me throughout our preparation process. We are surrounded by people who remember the tiny curly-headed child all those years ago, and who, in their various ways, share this milestone with us.

In a city where it is often easy to feel anonymous (whether you choose to or not), there are times when you are not so anonymous at all--when you are reminded that you are part of a community, because of where you live or what you've done, or simply because you have crossed paths with the same people for what has turned into years. There are the people who fill your everyday life, who are actively involved in your choices and your emotions. But there are also all sorts of people at more of a distance for whom your life matters. And I suppose this gives me hope as we send that now grown child out into the world. If there is such a community that surrounds her now, surely there will be all kinds of new communities that will, seen or unseen, help to surround her as she continues on her path.

We will go home to questions from relatives and friends, and from all the people we simply see on the elevator or to whom we say "hello" on our daily paths. Because, whether we have chosen it or not, we are part of a community--many communities, actually--and they are part of our journey too.

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