A group of creative and visionary souls are breathing new life into the meaning of belonging. They’ve prepared a table where anyone is welcome.
Sometimes the table is heavy with food and there is laughter and stories and friendships are built. And sometimes there’s artwork or music or the chatter of children around that table because the door is wide and all-inclusive.
There's a Community Garden for those who love to get their hands in the soil or those keen to learn. It encourages social connection as well as being a great way to provide fresh food for people in need. The gardens are filled with the healthiest produce I've ever seen and in one corner are the chubbiest and most contented chooks.
The Old Church on the Hill is a heartbeat of the community with something for everyone, Jazz club, playgroups, kids club, drama group, life drawing, youth and craft groups and a fixer-upper group which helps mend household goods to save them going to landfill. A monthly multicultural feast and story time provides people a glimpse into other cultures and builds bridges and understanding. And there's so much more.
In a world where there is such a strong emphasis on independence, where social media and digital communication is increasingly replacing face to face connection, and loneliness is in epidemic proportions, what a beautiful thing it was to experience this group of people giving a sense of belonging to each other as they shared life together.
There was a feeling of warmth and welcome that permeated the place and let me know that the words on the wall were not an empty platitude but a apt description of the intent of people's hearts. It is a place where people are valued and cared for and it shows. I was truly blessed by being there.
Maybe someone will cross your path tomorrow for whom your smile will let them know they are not alone and maybe for all of us the best way to find belonging is to let others find belonging in us.