Neighbors = Community

I just want to shout out to our non-intentional community. We had 8 cubic yards of dirt delivered recently to fill these garden beds we built in front of the house, and it was a neighborhood effort: our next-door-neighbors moved their cars and let us dump the dirt on their lawn (they have also been putting their chicken waste in the garden beds), our across the street neighbors left their tool shed unlocked for us to get shovels and wheelbarrows while they were out of town (they also lent us the tools to build the beds last fall!), and our back-of-house neighbors showed up to help us move the dirt. We also got another shovel & wheelbarrow from the neighbors on the corner – not to mention a place to dump the cubic yardn we couldn’t fit in the beds!

Through many hands and MANY wheelbarrows, we were able to distribute all that dirt in just a couple hours – including a coffee & breakfast break.

We moved to Tacoma recently, and I want to say we got lucky with our neighbors, but we also did a lot of work to make it happen. When we moved in, we baked a bunch of cookies and put them in bags with an introduction letter (including a labeled pic of us with our contact info) and went knocking on doors to get to know the people around us. And then we really intentionally started relying on our neighbors, asking them for tools and help with whatever we could think of. Soon enough they were dropping plants and eggs and veggies at our door, and many of them who didn’t know each other before are spending time together, too.

They even dropped off a bucket full of worms for the garden for @m.frankit.t’s birthday!

I think it would have been so easy (and has been in the past, for me at least) for us to think of our community as the people we intentionally in a space with – our shared home, our shared property, our shared interest group. But when we came out here we were very clear about wanting to put deliberate attention & intention into manifesting a community that already existed around us, and it has been so successful.