Tuesday, September 18, 2012

building community: a neighborhood salsa party

We are blessed to live in a great neighborhood. To be surrounded by such good people. People that we've come to know and love. Neighbors that are there for each other in the good times and in the bad.
These types of communities just don't happen. It takes time and effort to build trusting, caring relationships. Most of the time, it takes one person to make the initiative, to extend a hand of fellowship and friendship.
Our backdoor neighbors did just this thing last night. They had made little fliers that were put on every door late last week, inviting everyone to their home for the "first annual neighborhood salsa fest". This tradition had been carried on for years in their old neighborhood and they now wanted to share it with ours.
Each household was invited to come and gather in their front yard at dinner time. Bring your own chairs, your favorite salsa and chips or a dessert to share with everyone. They'd provide the paper goods and water to drink. 
What a great idea. And how timely, knowing that most of us who have gardens are more than happy to share our tomato harvest bounty in the form of salsa. And holy smokes, there were so many different and delicious offerings to try. A salsa frenzy like no other. Some with added beans, corn, peaches, and mangoes, and avocados to make things a little interesting. Some mild and some with a little kick. Some store bought and some homemade.
Oh, and how fun to see that one young woman had brought a platter of homemade chocolate donuts she proudly made to share on the dessert table.
So we pulled our chairs around a circle, sharing stories, catching up, and comparing what we'd piled on our plates. A group of little kids gathered across the street in another yard to play a game of tag. It was a beautiful clear night with just a bit of a end of summer chill coming on.
A true feeling of community that I just loved.