The Year of Community. ~ Ann Griffin

Via elephant journal
on Jan 18, 2013
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Helping the homeless

Experiencing a broader meaning of community every day.

Within this community of self, the community of many, we are coming together and fracturing at the same time.

Within the first week of January, as I’m settling into feeling the birthing of beginnings, I notice relationships unhinge. I sense great possibilities within this unhinging; revealing new energy, ideas and ways of being.

While people get laid off or quit their jobs due to unreasonable workloads or abusive language, some people have no choice but to stay.

And while people are beginning to sing “This Land is Our Land” the devastation from hydraulic fracking wakes up people more and more. We really do not want our ground, water, skies and cattle trashed.

I like the Boulder Food Rescue volunteer program better. Fresh fruits and vegetables doomed for the dumpster get transported on trailer bikes to homeless shelters and soup kitchens, and our neighbors in need.

Our technology of togetherness allows us to address civil rights issues across the globe not just in our nearby community.

Thousands of voices lend their support to women worldwide after the rape and death of the young college student in India. Last month millions, maybe, gathered via live streaming telecast to celebrate the Solstice of 2012, by singing with one voice to one earth in the ancient Yoruba song Shyla Nelson found in the streets of Nairobi:

“Ise Oluwa, Koley Bajey O.”

“That which Creator has made (or that which has been created) can never be destroyed.”

In his 2013 Forecast, Lee Harris Energy entitles this year, “The Year of Community.”

On the second of January, I experience a little of that community speaking to a stranger as I stand in the cold to get a new bus pass. I glance into a young, yet gruff, down cast face, and end up receiving a touch that sends an electrical charge through my arm.

As I get into my car, I realize my parking ticket has most of an hour left on it and offer it to another young man parked in front of me. He beams a rare radiance onto his face and says he wonders where his sister is as he texts on his cell phone.

There on the corner of Vitamin Cottage and Barnes and Nobel in Boulder, they stand with puffy coats and hats in the 30 degrees facing into the late sun. I roll down the window. At last today I have something to give, I think to myself, as I turn towards the back seat and into the case of Annie Chun’s seaweed-sesame snacks.

Her brown, burnt, chiseled face opens wide when she sees the packages. “I love these,” she says enthusiastically, and at that moment I realize homeless women know good, tasty up to date things like myself.

Hopefully, I can experience a broader meaning of community every day by noticing, even turning to the person next to me, wherever I am and speaking.

Yes, just opening my mouth to the thought that includes that person. That person who’s so close I see the colors they wear, the arrangement of their hair, the story in their eyes at that exact moment of their life. And in my turning towards the other, I open a wider community of self and of the many.


elephant journalAnn Griffin’s days fill not only as a caregiver for seniors, as poet and photographer, but with a newer, never before known passion as an activist for non GMO food and food labeling and for banning hydraulic fracturing locally and Colorado statewide.


Assistant Editor: Sara McKeown

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4 Responses to “The Year of Community. ~ Ann Griffin”

  1. Jyoti says:

    How wonderful!!!

  2. Janat says:

    My sweetheart had just gotten home and said that he talked to a man at the gym tonight, so when I read your sentence about turning toward the person next to you it hit home. It IS the year of community and I like it.

  3. Leslie says:

    Beautiful! And so are you. You are a true blessing to my community and I always look forward to one of your incredible smiles and a sweet hug!

  4. Lydia says:

    Thanks for inspiring me with a new spiritual practice of turning to those around me, truly seeing them, and engaging them, with me, in the year of community. You are a blessing.