Monday, December 21, 2009

Record Breaking Snowfall and an Initiation Post

It snowed on Saturday all day long. Typically, we get a dusting. Schools close because bus companies panic and don't know how to handle it. But this was no dusting. It was a blizzard. By blizzard, I mean blizzard for New Jersey standards. And for New Jersey standards, I mean South Jersey standards.

I spent several hours Sunday morning shoveling through the nearly two feet of snow we accumulated throughout the day and night on Saturday. My last count before heading to bed Saturday night was 21 inches. Record breaking for us.

Now, usually, I dislike snow.

However, after shoveling out our sidewalk, porch, and driveway where three cars lay buried in snow; after shoveling out our neighbors' car from their driveway; after shoveling out an elderly neighbor's sidewalk and porch, something happened. Maybe it was the snow getting to me. I had just spent three hours shoveling. But when my mom and I got into one of our family's cars that we had shoveled out and began to drive to her friend's place to shovel him out (he just had surgery and was unable to do so), I looked around at all the white, and all of the people shoveling each other out, and I felt happy.

As I said, usually, I dislike snow. However, this particular time, I felt like it brought everyone in my neighborhood together. We shoveled each other out. We all spent hours outside, bundled up, with our shovels, brooms, wheelbarrows and snow blowers, taking time to emerge from our homes where we had stayed safely confined the day before during the storm.

I turned to my mom and told her that it made me happy to see everyone outside and shoveling.

As trivial as this story may seem, I feel like it's going to set the theme for this new venture I'm about to embark upon (however epic that may sound...). I just spent an entire semester learning about communities--local communities near my university, communities facing racial, gender or sexual orientation issues, communities throughout US history, spiritual and religious communities, global communities. I spent so much time learning about communities, it's hard not to have it set the tone for this blog.

So, there is my goal.

I am going to focus on communities and the issues that they and I face.
It seems only natural, anyway.

We're social beings. We depend on communities. What is a blog other than a community?

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