Tuesday, June 3, 2014

joy in sharing

Knowing your neighbors

All of these aspects of life here are so intertwined with each other, and together they make up what is probably my favorite part of this culture and this country. I l o v e walking outside and greeting all of my neighbors as I make my way down these dusty streets.. And I l o v e that people genuinely care, whether you are sitting in the sun or you are not eating enough around the bowl. And I l o v e that you can walk into a courtyard where a woman is selling mangoes, and she gives you one just because "denga bax."
(denga bax=you are good.)

It's normal here for someone to walk into your home, and you stop what you're doing and just visit. Nothing important has to be said. Just spend time with each other-laughing and sharing life.

I've been thinking about this aspect of life a lot lately. Mainly the fact that I don't want to leave this sense of community, and I need to be intentional with incorporating it into my life in America. Here, it's easy to spend time with people. Most of their time is spent outside, sitting in chairs or on mats under trees. As you walk by, they call you over. Maybe you share a few rounds of tea together. Then, they invite you over for lunch this week. Next thing you know, you are visiting weekly with a family that has become so dear to your heart. You find joy in your conversations with them, and you love their children as your own. You have a solid friendship with them just because time was taken to call you over and talking was more important than any time arrangement that day. It's not a complicated process, but it's one that I had to move to a different country to see. 

Recently I came across Neighbor's Table, and I absolutely love that more and more people are seeing the need for knowing your neighbors, for opening your home, for spending time with people just because. We were made for community. We were made to love and laugh and find joy in the simplest of ways with each other. We need this.

It doesn't have to be hard. Write a letter to a friend just because. Bake cookies for the people living around you. Take time and truly listen to people. Send a simple package because you were thinking of someone far away. Live life with each other. 

Days are so much more enjoyable when this happens.