Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Our Village

Sunday nights we have dinner with a growing group of people in our neighborhood. The meal is hosted by a different family each week and we are up to 9 different families who make meals. The host invites whomever they want to join the core group and the meals are always great. This past Sunday dinner was at the Aalsma's house which is one of my favorite places in the neighborhood. The Aalsma's are just so cool you could easily be intimidated but they are too friendly for that to last long. Their house is big with lots of great art, funky fold furniture, stacks of books, and toys for all kids of all ages. They had two tables set up in the dinning room and kids running around everywhere as parents took turns eating and watching each others kids.

Like I said the meals are always great but part of the magic of Sunday nights is community. The living of life in close proximity to each other. I got my haircut in the middle of the room where the babies were pulling every toy they could reach out of the box on the floor. Older kids ran around Tina as she deftly maneuvered her pregnant belly and scissored hands without hitting me with either. College Basketball played silently on the TV in the corner even though very few beside me cared what happened between Kansas and Kentucky. A friend of one of the families, who happened to be a pediatrician, stopped by to check on an ear of one of the kids. Around the table Kate was recruiting writers for the neighborhood paper and babysitting duties were traded like baseball cards.

Next week the dinner will be at our house again and it might be nice enough to be outside. I can't wait to see what happens, who comes, where the conversations goes, what gets broken. This week Kate and I will worry about what to make, not with any unhealthy pressure to impress, but with the desire to cook something fitting of the great people that will come. We will invite someone from Kate's work that she wants to be friends with and neighbors from down the block. It will be a great night and most of us will not realize just how great until years later. We don't often get a sense for how great something is until much later in life but lately I have had a real tangible sense of how great Sunday night is. There is something so beautiful about the time, the people, the whole event that I sometimes start to think about when it will inevitably end and can't help but get sad. But it is not ending this week, and this week we get to have our house over run with life and the energy of it lived in such close proximity and it makes me smile.


jamie said...

Reading your blog makes me smile.

Meg Schroeder said...

so how did dinner at your place go? thanks for the message while I was in HI; really would've been fun if you all were there too, next time!

Anonymous said...

hey bro I just spent a few minutes at work scoping your blog I guess anybody can troll it. Anyway i think some of your thoughts are insipring so keep it up! Family and freinds are all that matter in the end.