Today’s prompt reads: We can live somewhere for decades and never really put our roots down there. What does it look like to get more deeply rooted in our home community? Today’s act will help you to explore ways of generously investing in your home town.
The challenges are:
GREEN:Find an excuse to make a local connection today. Take a quick detour to a small local shop or, if the local supermarket is more your thing, take extra time at the checkout to connect with the person who serves you. Learn their name, ask them how they are, or simply thank them for their help. Try to remember their face for next time. In other words, plant a tiny seed of community today.
AMBER:Chances are, somewhere in your community right now there is a voluntary group desperate for help. What a perfect way to get rooted! Find out about groups in your area – whether that’s a parent/toddler group, a women’s refuge, or a local football club. Give them a call today to see if you could volunteer your time, talent or finances to help them keep their doors open.
RED: The most revolutionary ideas are usually answers to a simple problem or a need. Take a long, hard look at your community, and see if you can find a gap to fill. It might be that your town has no social groups for the elderly, or that there’s no youth club at your church. There might be no support group for cancer survivors, or a coffee morning might be needed for single parents. Whatever it might be, take steps today toward creating something to plug the need.
And the meditation can be found here
So I was driving to my teaching job today, mulling over how this one might work for me – I live in a smallish village (picture above) and I have irregular teaching hours: that is to say, one month I might be teaching all day Monday, but not on Tuesday, and then all change the next month. Because of this I couldn’t commit to starting a group, or even joining a group, as I couldn’t commit to being there on a regular basis. I’m out one evening a week anyway, and I don’t really enjoy going out in the evening, preferring to stay at home & spend some time with Mr FD 5even if we areonly watching TV together!)
So I prayed, and thought that I would pop into the Mairie tomorrow (not much time today – I’m writing this in my lunch break, & probably won’t finish it to post it until tomorrow) to see if there were any notices of Associations where I might be able to offer a limited kind of help. “Unless,” I said to God, “You give me a slap across the face with a sopping wet fleece” (a reference, in case you need to know, to the story of Gideon in Judges. This is a kind of shorthand between me & God that I’m really not terribly good at seeing, or responding to, nudges from Him!)
I was teaching in a company not far from our village, and one of the students used to have a dress shop in St Just. In the coffee break I was chatting to her, and remarked that her shop had closed down. She said it was because the people in the village didn’t use it (it was a bit expensive and didn’t cater for women my size) which is why so many shops are closing in the village. She is right – in one street, there used to be a hardware shop, a photography shop, a dress shop, three hairdressers, a wool shop, an estate agent, a baker, a butcher, a fruit shop, a tattoo artist, a beauticians, and a flower shop. Now only the tattoo artist, two hairdressers and the fruit shop (which has morphed into a different butcher) remain. Why? Because people didn’t use them…”People in St Just don’t support local events”, she said. “In my village, we go to the events that are organised, even if we don’t really want to go, but in St Just…”.(gallic shrug) “In the canton there are over 5,000 people. If they had all visited just once, then the shops could stay open…”
As Maryline was talking, I started to think that this was the wet fleece I had been asking for: thinking about me & Mr FD she’s right. We don’t really go to events, just because we don’t want to, and we don’t buy in the local shops very often. So there it is – the wet fleece.
Every week I am going to make a point of visiting one different shop and buying something. We still use the minimart and the boulangerie on a regular basis, but the other shops we rarely use, if ever. So each week I shall frequent one or other of the shops.
Except the tattoo artist. Sorry about that!