Community in the Collective Kitchen

Yesterday, I hosted three lovely women and their children in our home to make some beautiful things.  The day was a scene from the life I have always wanted to live.  It was a return to collectivity, community, and sharing the value of domestic work.  We were busy working hard together with a common goal.  Our little ones were amazing.  They played so well together and from all reports, had a great time too!  My inlaws and husband took care of the children while we worked.  We had planned to make four things in three hours and despite it taking five, everyone left exhausted but in great spirits.

We cooked up more than just things to take home.  We came together in community, each bringing ourselves, our stories, our beauty.  Immersed in productivity of the best kind, our stories were woven together for one morning which trickled into early afternoon.  Some great conversations were had over steaming pots and dirty dishes.  I have piles of goodies we created together.  I will be reminded of our kinship each time I open a new jar.

The four of us are all on similar but unique journeys toward bettering the health and well being of our families.  It is truly a blessing to spend time with people who are walking a similar path.  It reminds me that I’m not alone, and that there are others with the same questioning mind looking for better ways to be.  Togetherness offered us the opportunity to share the things we are doing to push ourselves and our families into the edges.  It is so lovely to get together with like minded souls.  And funny enough, even in this warmth, even with a shared likemindedness, functioning in a community is still uncomfortable to me on some level.

As I edge into this new community, I am reminded that this is a skill worth growing.  It is interesting to me that community living is a skill we must now develop.  In times past, it was part of the way the society functioned.  Working in community has become so foreign in our modern lives that I am finding myself learning how to do it.   I am uncomfortable at times when working with others, wondering if I’m stepping on toes or offending.  But as I reflect on our day yesterday, I feel that it fell softly upon us, rather like the snowflakes floating outside my window as I write.  I am reminded that as we fall; separated but together, it is in our gentleness with each other that we can dance together in community.

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2 comments

  1. Great piece. I’ve always invited people to join me in canning and still pretty much get laughs. A few friends also can, but as a communal activity it’s only happened once. Well, half a time when my friend thought that canning 50 lbs of apples for sauce together would just take an hour or two – needless to say she peeled apples and went home!

    Like

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