just a moment
Some people refer to Maine as a small town. And we kind of love that idea. Small towns lend themselves to a sense of belonging—a sense of place. The man behind the deli knows our favorite cheese. The librarian puts a new book by our favorite author on hold. The woman who walks her dog by our house each morning offers that familiar smile. The key ingredient to deepening connections and feeling a sense of belonging? Time. When we take advantage of small moments, and we feel a part of something greater than ourselves, we build community.
take your time
Our teens agree. In our podcast episode this month, they tell us that a big part of what makes a community vibrant is when people show they want to spend time with you. When we invite someone into our lives through a greeting or a question, we bridge the gap. One of our teens explains: “It starts with little relationships with the people around you, whether you know them well or not. It doesn’t matter if you have everything in common or not much at all.”
Just as the end of winter beckons the songbird’s return, why not venture out too? Experiment with what it feels like to ask the gas station attendant about her day. Inquire about the waiter’s favorite dish. Or strike up a conversation with the person in line at the post office. What follows may surprise you. Those small instances of connection have the power to change a moment, a day or a life.
In his 1985 hit, “Small Town,” John Mellencamp sings, “I can be myself here in this small town. And people let me be just what I want to be.” Feeling a sense of belonging is a basic human need. We’re curious who you want to be in your small town? And who you’ll invite to join you...