“Some trees spread root systems underground that interconnect individual trunks and weave individual trees into a more stable whole that can’t so easily be blown down in the wind. Stories and conversations are like those roots.”
~ Rebecca Solnit, from The Mother of All Questions
So here’s the thing. If you’re facing a fear or a dilemma, and you think your options are “fight or flight,” consider a third option: “Gather.” Gather for solidarity. Gather for advice. Gather for support.
Gathering requires a couple of key components. First, you must have tribe members you trust. That involves having a tribe AND trusting them! Then you have to open up and be honest. If your tribe doesn’t know you’re in trouble, it’s hard for them to gather with you. Are you brave enough to say you’re in trouble? And does your tribe listen when you have a story to tell?
Of all the billions of people in the world, we’re lucky when we can be ourselves around even one or two people. And even with them, admitting to vulnerability is never easy. But if you want to do great work, you’re going to be tapping into your very center – that soft spot right in the middle of you. And if your great idea or big dream isn’t working, tell your story. Ask for help. Puzzle out possible solutions. Laugh about what’s not happening. And bond over the fact that no one has it all together all the time.
If you’ve got a tribe, at home or at work, the root system is there. All you have to do is gather. Why wait for a wind storm to find out how strong you are as a group?
This post is inspired by the blizzard winds of Maine tonight. Oh, my! I tried to take a picture outside but all you get is white snow zinging past at about 40 miles an hour. So instead, here’s the view from inside the front door. And, below, is the antidote!
Please stay warm!!
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2 thoughts on “The importance of gathering”
Much the same here, Janie, ‘cept I doubt we’ll make it as far as the ocean… of course, the ocean may come to us! What a delightful blog this is. Gather being one of those words we tend to think of in terms of Hannaford instead of “asking the Lord’s blessing” or whatever we gather together for; food, drink, fellowship, good times, problem-solving, making art… what great stuff! Hope t’see you soon. xo
Hi Sam! Yes, I love our gatherings at Maryellen’s house. I think we need another art gathering at my house. Perhaps February to help break out the winter blues :).