We are the community

On Friday night as I was going to Duncan’s for nachos I stopped by the new downtown rink. There was a couple of families skating and playing on the ice.

After dinner another group was out for Friday night skate. 

It was so good to see that kind of vibrancy.

The other day on instagram, Cumberland Public Library posted a book called “This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place Where You Live.” I checked it out because I thought the title was good advice. You have to love the community you live in. When you do it is better for everyone. We can all take some responsibility for making the town a better place. It is easy really to commit to some little thing that makes your town better. It can be tiny. It can be big. Either way , we are the community and we need to carry it out, to make it happen.

In her book, Melody Warwick says that simple things increase the happiness factor you feel about your community. She suggests getting out and walking, volunteering, shopping and eating local, being creative,and  knowing your neighbors are just a few ways of loving the place where you live.

I remember years ago there was a woman being interviewed on the radio about her home. She said, “It’s not what you got, it’s how you keep it.” Whether you live in a mansion or something more humble how you keep your place says alot about you. I think the same can be said about our community. A town does not have to be growing to be good. Goodness comes in all sorts of ways. It does not have to be big to be a great place to live. There are many communities much smaller than ours that are amazing places to live

Last summer a visitor was sitting in the window of my studio for a couple of days while she was here on a workshop. She was watching all the comings and going and she said,”This place is like Cedar Creek off the tv.” I wanted to say Cedar Creek is idyllic. It is on the water. Everyone there is beautiful.

But I did not. Instead I listened to what she said and looked at it from her perspective. We live in a small place where people know each other. She was here watching the community and she had a valuable persective.She was watching how we treat and interact with each other.  I have thought about that a lot. Especially when I doubt Amherst. I remember that we are a community. We are in a constant state of change because we are made of people. People come and go. Their needs and abilities change. People change with in themselves. Because of this communities change.

We are even more of a community than Cedar Creek because we are real. It was really interesting to see our community from her perspective.

Small things that do not  cost a lot like the outdoor rink, or the big block walk through the downtown (3 times around is two kilometres) add to the life of our village. It creates a sense of place, something for people to do and enjoy. When we live here it is our responsibility to create and find the joy in the community. There is buzz  in seeing people enjoy and utilize their community. We are all strengthened by it. It is our job to make them happen;to work together to create beauty in the community.

Thanks to the town for listening to the community and working to make it just a little bit more like those sweet little towns on tv.We might not be Cedar Creek, but we’re Amherst.

10 thoughts on “We are the community

  1. Thanks, Deanne, for reminding me many wonderful memories. Hang on tightly to what you have. It’s a very special place.

  2. Watching from Halifax it is such a joy to see Amherstonians feeling positive about Amherst. I always knew it was a wonderful place to live and bring up a family. I will continue to watch people enjoy and continue to rediscover the positive things about their home community.

  3. Whole heartedly agree, Deanne. Ownership & involvement fosters pride. Pride fosters a renewed commitment. And we all must commit.
    The kids and I had a discussion on elections & voting today. Lilly asked if voting was mandatory. I explained to them both that it was not. I gave them examples of places where no one votes or where women can’t. I stressed that voting is a privilege they cannot take for granted & furthermore, if you don’t vote, you don’t get a voice.
    It’s the same with community. Get involved where & when you can. Be a cheerleader for the area & encourage others to do the same. Support others who are trying to make a difference with their business & efforts.
    Be a vessel of positive change! Community matters.

  4. Bonding Time! Such a great place and community.I can sense the peaceful like in that place hope all the communities all over the world is the same as your community. If I was there I will never ever leave that place.

  5. I have always tried to be a positive voice about the place I live. The city, Sant John, and the province, NB. All to often I used to hear negative remarks about both. I love my city, the beautiful and the less so! NB is a lovely understated place to live. We are not as good at “advertising” our province as our Atlantic neighbors, but that is part of our charm. We are low key, and almost always a pleasant suprise to visitors. There is a bit of a renaissance happening in Saint John, mainly fuelled by newcomers to the port city, and I have to say I am a little worried that with the attention, changes that erode our charm may occur.

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