growing orchids in the desert

I was talking to my friend Chani a bit lately about building community in the community where I live, and why for all my efforts, I still feel so very much alone.

This came about when Chani mentioned her perception of my community building abilities in the blogging world, to which I deflected, pointing out that can't possibly be true since I have no community in "real" life - no village to help raise my child, no true and close shoulders to lean on, nowhere to curl up and safely cry. For me, it's always felt like this unhealed and childlike part of my soul that still yearns for mother. She reframed it a bit, speaking to how hard it may be to build a community in a place without the necessary ingredients. How does one grow orchids in the desert?

I still wonder which comes first. Is it the reaping that guarantees the sowing? Is it the earnestness with which you put out your intentions, hoping for like minded others to cosmically
intersect? Is it the patient and true of heart that slowly but steadily arrives to the communal fire when it's time for the burn?

I don't know those answers, and as I often do when I am answerless, tend to make it about me - if only I had more time for x, or was better at keeping up with y....but truthfully I know it cuts much deeper than that - to the place where I more deeply struggle - with expression, acceptance, love, and strength.

More often than not that reservoir runs dry, and again, I wonder which came first. The deepest parts of us need nourishing to thrive, too.

I don't have the answers. But I do know I long for a sacred place - where women come together, to debate, to heal, to grieve, to flow. A place where our truest selves can be put forth and honored like the incredible gifts they are. Where our idiosyncracies can be discussed and cherished. Where many women love my child.

And while I long for that place, I find tremendous joy in the blog world, the place where I have more honest exchanges with others than I often have in person. I wonder what my community would look like if you were my neighbors? What kind of potlucks would we have? Who would bring the wine?

I'd imagine our fire would burn long and hard. Or is that just a trick of the virtual world, that warts are edited and blemishes deleted?

I tend to think we would dance.