Creating Community

We've spent the last week on the East Coast, out here for my best friend Elaine's wedding.

It's been a week to spend a lot of time thinking about community. On either side of the wedding, we got together with friends who previously we had only "known" on the internet. Beatrix made friends with their kids (she is now pestering for texting and email on her iPad so she can stay in contact), and we had a fantastic time with people we got to know deeper than online relationships can allow.

For the wedding itself, we shared a house with my other best friend, Jennifer — and her family, and our mutual friend Melissa. You would think, after being someone's friend for over 30 years, after knowing her family, after appreciating her husband and children, there would be nothing new left to gain by hanging out for the week. But that would be wrong — they are still at that beach house as I write this, and I desperately wish we were still there laughing and hanging out with them. I feel so very lucky to have them in our lives (and Beatrix thinks their daughter Kelsey is The Best Person In The World).

But it was the wedding itself that really created magic. It was small, about 45 people, and held in Kennebunkport, Maine, where Elaine's grandmother had lived and where she spent summers. Her brother and sister-in-law still live there in the family home. People came from all over: Elaine and Richard and his daughters and friends from Indiana, her parents from DC, his family from Maryland, college friends from New York, some of us from Minnesota, and several places in between.

And I don't know how they did it so well, but over those few days, Elaine and Richard created an awesome little community. A group of those of us that were the closest to them, who will support them in their lives together and who all valued being in this special place to share the day with them. People who forged other relationships with each other, and who now have these relationships and that experience to base them on. People who I now know and value and understand why Richard and Elaine thought it was so important that they were there for their wedding.

I am very, very lucky to be part of this tribe. And we all need this sense of community.


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