Random Conversations

Feelings of Community

Feelings of Community

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Often when we least expect it

These past few days have held delightful surprises.

It started with seeing that the line for dosas at Washington Square Park was a fraction of its normal 1+ hour wait. Dosas are a crepe-like piece of perfection from Southern India, and Dosa Man in the park creates the best. (I wrote about Thiru, AKA Dosa Man, here.)

Thiru created a brown bag dosa for me years ago (spicy and crisp with no filling, served in a paper bag for eating on the go) and that is my standing order. Recently he told me others are ordering it after seeing mine.

I was focused on my phone, as one does while waiting in line, and then I saw a dosa nestled in its bag directly in front of my nose. When I looked up, there was Thiru with the biggest of smiles for having surprised me. There were still a few people in front of me!

A kind gesture, a feeling of belonging, building together into the warmth of community – wonderful!

Tulip Day

Two days later, there was another surprise. As I walked on morning errands, I was aware of quite a few people holding tulips. As the afternoon progressed, it seemed as though everyone held tulips. That’s when I noticed the bags were stamped “Tulip Day.”

I incorrectly assumed someone was selling them at Union Square. I was correct about the location, but they were free – a gift in part from the Consulate General of the Netherlands. By the time I arrived, very few tulips were left, but what remained was the collective joy of those with tulips in hand, and of those simply enjoying the colorful display all around us.

One person I spoke with mentioned that she planned to give many of them away. Sharing the beauty and joy, expanding the reach of our community – a gift that keeps giving.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” Maya Angelou

Solar Eclipse

I knew I wanted to experience the solar eclipse from Washington Square Park. It’s a favorite spot in my geographic community, and being there always fills me with joy.

A friend and I walked to the park, neither of us with eclipse sunglasses. As we stopped along the way, a woman asked if we’d like to borrow hers – and what a difference it made! It was a generous offer, and several others shared theirs with us as we walked through the park.

Reaching out to share an experience with others, coming together as one – priceless, as they say.

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men." – Herman Melville

Moving Forward

Large cities have a reputation for being cold and impersonal, but that is not my experience here. Maybe it’s only my neighborhood – or maybe it is our human nature to come together to share joyous occasions. I think the latter.

Community expresses itself in a multitude of ways. It only requires that we open ourselves to be a part of it.

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” Coretta Scott King

I couldn’t agree more.

Photo by Emilian Nemecon on Unsplash

Cathy Joseph is the author of the Random Conversations blog and is currently seeking representation for her book, The Art of Having a Delicious Conversation.

© 2022 Cathy Joseph. All rights reserved.

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