“It doesn’t get any better than this” was a comment I heard a local resident say one weekend as we emerged from our annual Town Meeting in Montville, Maine. There’s something undeniably real and connecting when people participate with others in ways that substantively shape the social and physical landscapes that hold their lives.
I grew up in a small fishing village (population 421) on the coast of Maine. Aside from the “Tom Sawyer” like boyhood I experienced, I had the benefit of literally knowing every person in town and they knew me as the…”preacher’s son.” Community was a way of life. When the gales blew, both men and women would stand vigilant over all vessels in the harbor, and when I’d try to ride a winter ice cake across the cove, I had many surrogate parents ready to scold me back to my senses.
Perhaps it’s this shared sense of responsibility and accountability that now draws me like the tide to join a group of other seekers looking to (re)create a lifestyle based more on mending the nets together than fishing alone.
Our lives are all stories strung together and mine is no different. I’ve woven my way through schooling and a graduate degree, a taste of military experience, creative adventures in crafting musical instruments, traditional boats, relationships, parenthood, and a continuing search for where the sweetgrass grows.
A good friend recently reminded me of the Chinese belief that an invisible red thread joins those who are destined to connect in this life. My 16 year old daughter Mika and I are trusting that belief as we imagine and actively plan our membership in Belfast’s cohousing community. As Mika often declares, “I’ll be close to my horse, my friends, and won’t have to eat my dad’s cooking every night.” And guess what… neither will I.