Who would have thought a Facebook post would bring back memories of my own grandmother? The post in question was from a good friend who shared a beautiful photo that included a comment about how there was nothing better than canning with friends.
When my Nana was in her 60's she moved into a newly built neighbourhood that was populated mainly by young families. It may have been prompted by loneliness but she used to hold canning parties. She invited young mothers from the neighbourhood many of whom had never canned before.
I particularly remember her teaching them how to can fruit cocktail and make jam and pickles. A win-win because the end products were shared but perhaps more importantly, everyone left knowing one another on a deeper level and feeling a greater sense of belonging.
In hindsight I realize it was also her approach to community building albeit in a very pragmatic way. I bet she didn't realize she was also planting the seeds of community building in her own grandaughter. I loved her so much and think of her often...such a special woman.
Anyone can be a community builder. It begins with thinking about one's own assets or gifts. Then it is a matter of being brave enough to step forward and invite others to participate. Too often we wait for others to take that first step and extend an invitation but why not you? If not you, then who?