I was remembering the little group of people who used to gather every Sunday for a potluck when I was in grad school in Cedar City…good food (for students), meaningful conversation, awesome jokes, a lot of love. It was my favorite part of the week. A few highlights: Ed confessing he had “potluck anxiety” about what to contribute to the meal, Marie forcing us to make up a game on the spot, which is where “Name Your Epistemology” originated, the meal where everyone unknowingly showed up with a dessert (so amazing), and our white elephant gift exchange at Christmas time. Several weeks in a row I expressed, “another successful potluck!” after which someone pointed out my favorite phrase and then egged it on every week thereafter by asking things like, “Heather, how do you think this potluck went?” or “Heather, would you say this was…successful?”
Five years later I feel like my heart cavity could burst whenever I think about this little group of friends who still feel like family. And it makes me think of all of the other “families” I have been a part of through the years…brought together by the same need for community and a familial experience in the absence of our own families (either of origin or of creation). I love all of them with such a deep appreciation for the part they have played in my life and in the development of my ideas and dreams.
The value of community is so underestimated…especially with the formation of cyber communities, which I think can be a real blessing, but which can never replace the life-changing hugs and smiles and face-to-face conversations of a group of people who care about each other. As a culture we are so much more connected which had made us so much less connected in many ways. But this post isn’t about the loneliness of technology—if you are a healthy person I think you already recognize the importance of abundant real-life communication and online moderation.
I guess this post is just about expressing gratitude for all of the families I have been a part of throughout the years. With each new move I worry that I’ll never find a community as good as the last, but I have been heartily surprised and delighted by the personalities and friendships I continue to experience. Each new family has both given to me and expected from me exactly what I have needed. And now I have this history of people in my heart who are quite literally a part of me and always will be.
So thanks to my Potluck family, Philmont family, Recreation Management family, Study abroad family, Austin, Texas family, Rogue FHE family, Scofield family, Motherhouse family, Capitol Hill family, Colloquium family, St. George Races family, Red Cliffs family, and Bloomington Hills 7th ward family. And of course…thanks to my family family…the ones who have been devoted to me and I for them since birth (and even before). I am such a lucky girl.
Looking forward to all of the families I have yet to be part of. Isn’t that a lovely thought?