Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Community Spirit.

Isn't it great to DO things with friends?

Instead of the usual fighting over discarded food, stalking and molesting each other, and picking on the weak and maimed, these pigeons were enjoying a spa experience in the city-centre, riverside fountains this morning.
In warm sunshine.
Bathing their contaminated little feet, enjoying the cool spray on their manky old feathers.
Looking better, feeling better.

A sense of calm purpose enveloped them.
Later in the day they won't be able to get near the fountains. The toddlers will be there (also bathing their little feet, but we'll pass over that thought). But in the early morning sun the place was theirs, and they had come together in a crowd, aware of each other, offering protection in numbers, but each enjoying their own experience.

Elsewhere in this early morning, the same community spirit was strong. A great many senior citizens, equipped with Cool-Boxes and sun-hats were making their purposeful way over the bridge to the cricket ground. This is Worcester, I'm talking about, and it is clearly a Big Day.
The same sense of calm purpose was there, the same intent to enjoy the shared experience.

It is said that many of us have three types of community; family, work and other.
'Other' is what we chose to join in with, paddling in the fountain, watching cricket, learning French, playing golf, volunteering for a service.
Not all of us are fortunate enough to have these varieties of community, and many of us lose all or parts of them at different times. It happens, for instance, with retirement, bereavement and when the children leave home. Life gets out of balance, communities change and there is a sometimes difficult and painful period of readjustment.

We don't generally choose our work community (unless we own the whole set-up), and we don't choose our extended families. Blessed are they who find deep compatibility and harmony therein. Challenged are the rest of us.
However, we can chose the 'Other'.
It takes energy and discrimination, and, in my case, a fair bit of trial and error.
I'm working on it; the need for shared enjoyment and the appreciation of calm purpose.

This morning I watched the pigeons. Contaminated feet or not, they got it right today.


Jane said...

I saw those pigeons this morning too - I wonder if I saw you? It was a beautiful morning wasn't it?

leslee said...

I love it! Yes, life in these mobile times is more prone to losing communities and also for gaining new ones. I tend to get very attached, so it's not always easy to deal with the losses. But I'm fortunate to have some old friends who have been there, more or less, over the years - like family, even though we may rarely see each other, there's that sense of connection that can be picked up again at any time. Many others, though, have come and gone with the transitions - a breakup of a relationship usually takes away a whole social circle, coworkers move on and disappear, and so forth. Anyway, good luck finding your own birds of a feather!

Relatively Retiring said...

Jane: Hello, and what a coincidence! Thank you for your comment. I was going to say that I was the one with the camera, but I saw at least three others on that stretch of the river in the morning sun.

Leslee: Yes, the relationship break-up usually breaks more than the two people directly involved - a sadness of modern times. But then the blogging community brings new friends.

Zhoen said...

Holes in our lives. Up to us to fill them. Takes time.

Relatively Retiring said...

Zhoen: Yes, life requires non-stop working at it!

Molly said...

I think to live and fully enjoy the experiences life has to offer we have to go out on a limb, regularly!It may not feel comfortable, but if you don't venture into untested waters you never meet all those interesting people, some of whom are friends waiting to be found! Some of my best friends are people I never would have met if I didn't put myself in situations I'd have been much more comfortable avoiding!

Smart pigeons!

Relatively Retiring said...

Molly: Yes, I agree. Surprisingly, I find it easier to move out of the comfort zone as I age - at least socially. Physically it's not quite so easy!

Anonymous said...

That photo took me straight back to trips to Worcester years ago, when I'd meet my friend J by that fountain. We'd sit and talk and try to stop our children from dashing into the water. Some judicious swan feeding was usually a distraction.

Thanks for bringing back a memory that made me smile.


Relatively Retiring said...

Jan: It's fun when the fountains are set on 'random', and then lots of people get soaked.
Glad it brought back good memories. The swans are still demanding non-stop feeding.