Grateful for Community

I don’t think I’ve realized how blessed I am to be living in a small town until just recently. When I first moved here, I was disappointed. I don’t know what I was expecting, but moving from a city of over a million to a town of 3000 was a bigger change for me than I had anticipated. Once school had started, I buried myself in work and it wasn’t long until I began feeling lonely.

I started resenting living in such a small town and grew homesick and unhappy. But one day, I got an e-mail from a co-worker inviting me to join their curling team and I responded with an enthusiastic “yes”! Eventually, our team started a weekly board games night which involved playing lots of strategy games and the occasional pizza, tacos, and wine.

I’m so thankful for the overall friendliness in this town. Every team that we have played against was so helpful and kind in teaching me how to throw a stone or how to understanding the scoring system. The winning team would buy the losers beers (we always had free beer) and we would sit and talk until late in the evening. Sometimes, I would discover that an opposing team member owned one of the shops that I frequent or that their children go to the school I teach at.

I am also grateful for random run-ins. It is always a bright spot in my day when I  see my grocery store cashier at church one Sunday, or when I run into a colleague at the local pharmacy. Even better when I hear from across the street one of my students calling my name.

It occurred to me yesterday that I am really going to miss this. I’m really going to miss the community in and outside of school. All those feelings of disappointment and resentment at the beginning of the year are gone and in its place are contentment and joy. I am left feeling humbled, and with the hope of finding something as special as this next year.

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