The privacy gene runs deep and this all-grown-up English girl now lives with her own family in the country, surrounded by rolling fields and rugged bush. The closest neighbour lives at least half a mile away. Some days I see more wild life than human life and honestly, I'm okay with that.
My better-half is also an introvert which means we dream of one day retiring to a tiny house on the side of a mountain, hiking unblemished lands with large dogs, and occasionally surfing the net. There is a peaceful safety that accompanies high hedges, far fields, and measureless mountains.
But the hedge is not high enough to protect my friend from cancer. The fields don't expand far enough to mend the broken heart of my child, and it's hard to look forward to solitude when I meet so many hurting people throughout the days. And although I like to be alone, I don't ever want to be lonely.
I'm reminded of my friend who offers advise when parenting leaves me dazed and confused, and she always encourages me and tells me she loves me. I think of the family down the road who invite my hubby and me for coffee and we talk about things in common and eat cookies and smile. Or my sister who makes herself available at the buzz of a text, sharing the details of her day and I can't wait to see her again. And I know that I'm not alone. I have community. We have community. We walk the same journey of faith, sometimes strong and confident, and sure, but other times we're week, and we stagger, so confused that we can't think straight. It's in the holding of hands of those around us that we can stand. As I reflect on my personal 'faith journey' I can't help but think of the role that community plays in our walk. We need each other.
I need to step out of my comfortable life of alone-ness and be in the lives of others.