The word community means different things to different folks. I think of my community as all of the people that I see and interact with throughout my town and my life. I think of the families that run the stores and farms, and I think of the neighbors that work in the schools and the fields. My family, my friends…all of those people who I rely on to keep my life in balance—whether it’s the cashier at the co-op, the clerk at the post office, or my mom.
In our beautiful region we are fortunate to have many opportunities to interact with and grow our communities. One aspect of human happiness is the number of close and trusting relationships we have. There are a few community events that I truly enjoy, where I see people who I feel warm and comfortable with, and where I meet new people that are truly interesting and up for having a good conversation.
One of my favorite events of late is the annual Common Ground Celebration. This year it will take place at the Stone Ridge Orchard on Sunday, October 26. A large variety of our neighbors come out for this event to share skills, enjoy music and food, and get to know each better.
I really enjoy the zero waste focus of this event; people are encouraged to bring mess kits in order to make as little garbage as possible. The recent Clearwater Festival had the same zero-waste focus, and it was an enjoyable experience to throw out some garbage because there were signs that helped minimize waste in the trash stream. The Dutchess County Fair is another amazing taste of local culture and family fun. This fair strives to showcase all that is local.
There is something unique about Summer’s ability to foster community building—whether we’re gathered around a campfire, meeting up for blueberry picking, or going out for a swim. But the long days and the warm nights come and go quickly, so get out there this August and enjoy yourself. Your neighbors are looking forward to seeing you.
As always, send us your stories, ideas and thoughts. We’re always looking to share.
–Chris Hewitt, Publisher of Country Wisdom News