Last night, after a wonderful week full of people and activities, I settled onto the couch with some cross-stitch and Doctor Who. (For those of you who don’t know, I have a little fascination with this show – see here.) It was the end of Season 4, and of course, the universe was in crisis. But as the episode started, I realized something really exciting was happening (now keep in mind that when I say “really exciting” about a TV show, I’m talking about the same kind of excitement that comes when you can have that first taste of coffee in the morning, not the kind from your wedding day or the birth of your child – just wanted to set that straight.). As I watched, I realized that this was a Doctor Who reunion – all of the people from the show, especially the female companions that travel with the doctor, were coming back to help him save the universe. Martha, Rose, Jackie, Mickie, Sarah Jane. I felt my heart swell a little with joy.
You see I love reunions – real ones, TV ones, the one I anticipate greatly after this life is over. Each time I lose someone in my life – through choice or necessity – I am sad. Deeply, deeply sad. As a kid, every time we pulled away from my grandparents’ house or left good friends’ yards after dinner, I cried. Every time. There’s something just really profound for me about leaving people. So when the chance comes for people to come back together, even on a TV show, I feel my spirit lift.
I think it’s that I really love community (Those of you who attended Messiah in the same years I did, I can hear you groaning from here, but bear with me.). I love the idea of people working together toward something – a project, a dream, a goal. To be completely honest, I would really love to live on a commune – one of those hippie-inspired ones where people grow food together and eat together and co-parent together. (If you’re in, let me know – really!).
I was reminded of how much we all need each other on Wednesday evening when I stood (a reasonable distance away) and watched two friends load 20,000 bees into their new bee hives. The bees didn’t swarm, as I thought they would (hence, the reasonable distance away). Instead, they stayed as close to the queen as they could. They knew their job – keep the queen warm and safe. It really was amazing. Without 9,999 friends, the bees would not survive, we might not have flowers, and we definitely wouldn’t have honey (You guys have seen the Bee Movie, right?)
Recently, I have joined a writing group (oddly enough comprised of mostly married men and me – don’t know what that means exactly), and I am finding that community again. We send each other our work and give feedback – hard, constructive, precious feedback – and we talk about our writing lives and publication ideas. . . I have a writing community again. It’s like a little reunion show of our own since most of us went to college together. Here we are, helping each other out, more than ten years later. It’s awesome.
As I write these thoughts, it occurs to me that I find community in all kinds of ways – through here and Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn (someone stop me!) – through phone calls and emails with friends far away, through books, through music (especially through music), through time on a friend’s porch. In all of these things, I am seeking that connection that helps me feel connected, and I hope I give that help when it’s asked of me, too. The community – the survival and success and joy of us all – that’s what this life is about, I think. So who’s in for the commune?
And just so you know, the Doctor and his crew saved the universe. Amen to that.