Tonight I had my first dream group in my new, lovely, gorgeous, blessed space in Weaverville. It was a sacred evening, truly. Then we all went to a restaurant a block away for dinner.

At the meal one of the women asked the others what “community” meant to her. The re-defining of how this concept works in our lives is surely on-going – from villages, to small towns, to neighborhoods, churches, workplace, to whatever creates the sense that someone else is aware of you and has your back. It is a widely shifting concept these days. This was a brilliant question and topic for conversation. Each of the answers were thought provoking. I will just tell mine.

Four years ago, I was alone on a mountain top in my home. I had been fainting for a few days; it was assumed that I had an inner ear infection. Some friends had come to visit me for the weekend, and had left that morning feeling assured that I was getting better. That afternoon, alone on my couch, a horrible pain began in my belly, feeling almost like childbirth. I thought possibly my ear problem had moved to my belly, virus pain just shifting around, and I should wait it out. At the worst of it a good friend from New Mexico called. She knew I had been sick and wanted to know how I was doing. I told her about the new pain I was experiencing and that I was planning to just wait it out. She said, “Ooooohh, just talk to my husband for a minute while I call on the other line to Chris (a mutual friend of ours who is a doctor in Knoxville, which is an hour and a half away from where I live.) I talked to her husband until she got back on the phone and said, “Everybody hang up, Chris wants to call Tayria.” We all hung up. He called me and said, “I am preadmitting you to the hospital in Knoxville. Either you get a ride here from one of your neighbors or I am coming to get you.”

I thought it was loving friends overreacting, but went along with it out of respect. I phoned neighbors who live across the road. One can only get them on the phone a very small percentage of the time. They answered. I told them what was happening. The mother of the house, Abby, came running up my driveway and loaded me in the car for the drive to the hospital in Knoxville. I called my daughters and my mother on my cell phone as I moaned lying in the back seat, with my dog sitting on my stomach looking panicked and worried. Under normal conditions the drive to Knoxville takes 90-minutes; Abby swears she got me there in 45.

Once at the hospital a team of doctors my friend had assembled in anticipation of my arrival determined that my fainting had been from blood loss. I had a bleeding stomach ulcer I was completely aware of and there was so little blood left in my system they told me the next time I fainted I would not have awakened. Then the extreme, sudden stomach pain was due to the fact that my appendix had just burst! This was an unrelated event that also saved my life. If I had not gotten to the hospital immediately the blood loss, or the toxicity from the appendix burst, would have killed me.

I was alone on a mountain top when all of this erupted. A dear friend from New Mexico called. I talked to her husband, also my dear friend, while they called my friend in Knoxville. He made a quick decision and assembled doctors to greet me. My loving and devoted neighbor drove me to the hospital and got me there in the nick of time.

This all gave me a completely new perspective on community. Community is in the hands of the universe, and comes to us because we love and are loved. Who made my friend call me at such a “random” moment? Who made that doctor respond in the way he did? Who made my neighbor run over to collect me and drive like a banshee from Max Patch to the hospital in Knoxville?

Formerly I might have thought that my spiritual community would have my back at such a moment. Or that my family, now scattered across the globe, would. But now I see and do trust that the universe, and love, has my back. When the shit came down I was not alone, not one bit.

Community is not literal, geographic. It comes from love, love given that comes right back.

Love with your whole heart. Community results.



One Response to “Community”

  1. Nancy Whitlow Says:

    We are so glad that you had and have such a community.
    Lots of love,
    Mama and Nancy

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