To join in with Rebel Guy’s Flower Power from week 5- I decided to write again.
As I scrolled his photos (here) I was not sure if I was going to write. Each week I just wait to see if a photo speaks to me and this time it was photograph #4: Calendula Patch:
This photo reminded how absolutely wonderful it feels after connecting with “like-minded” folks.
“Similar Feels So Sweet”
For me – this is how I feel after leaving blog land – to where I have connected with virtual friends but we share similar outlooks on life. Ahhhh – so refreshing.
After a super busy holiday season this year – did I mention that we felt a little “clobbered” for about 60 days (November-ish to early January-ish)?
During that clobbered time, which was not all bad, we connected with various groups for things like holiday get-togethers, activities, a shower, family visits, various classes, work stuff, neighborhood activities and other community things.
A couple of times I came home completely drained.
Seriously – it was the opposite of refreshment.
It was not necessarily a need to “heal and repair mode” (well twice it was) but as I decompressed I was reminded that sometimes life circumstances have us connecting with people just because of circumstance. We end up connecting with folks who very different in a way that drains. There are times to grin and bear it – and suck it up out of love or because it is what we feel led to do – and so we genuinely give and handle the drain with maturity and grace. There might be other times when we draw boundaries and choose not to mingle – and it would be wrong to force things.
there are other times when social connecting is a complete refreshment – and we leave the interaction edified, inspired, and refreshed.
Rebel Guy’s photo reminded me of this sweet refreshment.
Rebel Guy’s Calendula Patch came my way after I felt refreshment from interacting with like-minded bloggers. I had shared some hearty comments with Rebel Girl, Joey, Linda, Helen, BB, Amy, CP1, D, Lisa, Diana, the What Pegman Saw and FF writers… and others. The blog-sharing was refreshing and so sweet.
Oh and blogger Mabel Kwong (here) was visiting earlier this month. Mabel is a multicultural blogger and a major theme in her writing is celebrating differences, and dealing with diversity (the good the bad and the changing). And she mentioned a book that a team of us wrote last year (more on this later) and as I pondered the diverse author mix in that book (here) the truth is that those authors were recruited for what we had in common – and not for our differences.
And then I was reading (here) about Denver, Colorado’s growth and how residents wrestle with “changing stability” versus “stagnant sameness.”
So yes – sometimes sameness can be stagnant.
I am all for diversity.
It is needed….
Seasons the soul
Cultivates critical thinking
Helps us leave comfort zones
Sheds light on bias and can strip down stereotypes.
Celebrating and embracing diversity can bring healthy tension that leads to new insight without rigid prejudgment.
Yes, we don’t want stagnant.
Now I guess we could get caught up in defining “diversity” or describing the context in which diversity is crucial –
but sometimes, my friend, sometimes sameness just feels so darn good.
And even though I left a some activities drained and shaking off annoyance – I also had the opportunity to leave some social activities completely refreshed because I was around like-minded folks.
Another example of this sweet similarity feeling – besides the blogland examples and events over the holiday – happened in spring of last year. It was unexpected. Laura was hosting a 9-week small group meeting at her house and each week different folks showed up. A few of those nights led to some amazing conversations. It was right around the time Tom Petty passed away and one night someone played a couple of Petty songs on their phone and we shared throwback stories. On another night we had a deep convo and hearts connected.
There was this type of conversating that cannot be planned – you wish you could plan for it – but you cannot – and so when it unfolds – you relax into it and savor the moments. The experience then stays with you and it carries through times of drought (or times when people drain).
Now anyone who knows me – well they know how much I love people. And trust me I do – and so I hope this does not come across as if I am slamming anyone who I might allude to as a drain; it is more of a fact that we might not have much in common. Nothing personal. We might be together by circumstance and in the same circles because life (God) has appointed it. I value them – I do. I might even like them and love them – even if they drain. ha. However, I also value the richness that can unfold with times of like-mindedness.
The bottom line?
It is very sweet to the soul when sameness refreshes.
And seeing RG’s Calendula blooms – resting effortlessly in the sun with a vibe of unity – made me smile to think about when similar feels so sweet.