Connection & Community - Michele M. Anderson

Connection & Community

Photo: Hannah Busing, Unsplash

I’ve been thinking about connection and community…

We moved to Eugene, Oregon in August. When we arrived, we had a completely different neighborhood experience than anywhere else we lived.

Within the first couple of weeks, we met several families on our little side street. They reached out to us in the most natural and warm-hearted way.

Our next-door neighbor carried over homemade pumpkin pecan bread. The neighbors across the street brought us bright yellow flowers, along with a card inviting us to contact them any time. The neighbors on the east side surprised us at the door with freshly baked apple torte. A warm welcome!

When we take our daily walks, everyone says hello and waves to us. Even on the adjacent streets, we keep encountering friendly smiles and greetings.

Thirty-minute walks sometimes become one or two hour leisurely outings because every few houses we would meet another neighbor and start a new conversation.

Our new neighbors taught us something important: Connection begins where we live. When we share a smile with a neighbor, a friendly hello, a light conversation at the end of the day, we begin to heal isolation and loneliness.

We begin to remember: We are all welcome and have a place in the world.

Neighborhoods form the nucleus of our community. Connections in our neighborhoods make meaningful conversations more possible. It’s an opportunity to learn from each other.

Reach out and connect with your neighbor today.

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