our community garden

It was our day at the community garden today.
We have been going each week since Sky was just 2 - a wee one, never saying much, just trotting around finding things to be quietly fascinated with. Some things don't change much, although she does become chattier without her big sister about.
We lived just two doors up the street then and were down there most days at some point; tending the garden, passing through on our way to the village or meeting with others at the building on site.
Now we are further away and with other interests vying for our time I recently suggested we stop going for a while.
Ruby's jaw literally fell open and Sky exclaimed "What? Not go to the community garden?"
Immediately I was could see this wasn't, in fact, a possibility. 
Which I kind of knew already.
I was relieved.

Because it's not just the environment that we enjoy - being in the weather with the dirt and plants and insects.
Nor the questions and knowledge and new skills we take away, little by little, each week.
Nor the chance to work our bodies in ways that bodies have worked for millenia (ok, to be honest, I've done very little of this for a while now).
Nor all the new people that come through on their way to somewhere else, who we get to meet and chat with and learn from (I think this is Ruby's favourite part).
And not even just the food we get to raise and harvest and eat.

What it really is, is the relationships we have forged over those years.
Relationships that feel more like whanau - aunties and uncles and cousins. 
Relationships and a community that have blessed us with the feeling of belonging and loyalty and commitment and love.
Community I have looked for all my adult life; one that shares in dreaming and rethinking community, family and living with each other on this dear earth in general.
Friendships that stick around, with the garden as the home we return to.

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