We have now been living in our communities for over a year. Yikes! For the Seed website, all of us have written and reflected on our time in our communities and what we have learnt. Here is my general introduction:
Every moment is a life changing moment; every moment is a moment that has never happened before. Every encounter that we have with those around us is a chance to learn, to change and to grow. As Seeders, we have been living and working in our communities for over a year. This equals a year’s worth of encounters and moments of change in radically different contexts and places then we have ever experienced before.
However, it is not only being present and living in our communities that provides the opportunity to learn, but the act of being in relationship with our communities. Learning may seem intensified by everything new that we are experiencing, but the relationships that we now have allow us to reflect and profoundly enter and more easily understand what is going on around us and how to find our place within our communities. As we ask questions, attend meetings, visit our neighbours, worship together and simply live, we are forced to reflect on ourselves and our backgrounds. Our relationships act as a mirror reflecting on ourselves, but our identity as outsiders can also act as a mirror on those around us, as long as we are willing to both act and reflect together, as insiders and outsiders, strangers and friends.
And here is my reflection, focused on Mampujan:
1. The act of accompaniment doesn’t just mean observation, but action. This action takes various forms, including listening, encouraging, reflecting, sharing, laughing, praying, crying, walking, writing, singing, celebrating, and in the case of Mampuján, carrying things from one end of the community to the other during large events.
2. It is often difficult to fully participate in meetings when there are so many distracting things happening all around. Observing for the first time chickens climbing trees during a meeting does not encourage participation and focus on the discussion at hand.
3. Life here is confusing. Just when I think I have one part figured out, some other aspect changes. I will never fully be a part of this community in the way people who are born here are a part, but my status as a confused outsider allows me to ask questions and see the community in a different way. But some days, I am just confused.
4. It is possible to be lonely living in the middle of hundreds of people.
Be sure to read everybody’s reflection- they all highlight different experiences and learning.