community n., pl. –ties 1. a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and have a common cultural and historical heritage. 2. a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests (usually prec. by the): the business community; the community of scholars.
Discussing the results of the latest round of American Idol is good for as long as the conversation can carry us. Cheering our favorite sports team to victory lasts as long as the season. Finding others who share our interests and hobbies is what we do as humans in our quest to belong; but it does not necessarily follow that authentic community is a result.
This is the way our family wants to do life – slowly and in our pajamas – but some days it’s not so slow. Some days I forget that people are more important than schedules. Sometimes I run around like a particle in an accelerator. I aim for slow because I believe it allows us to experience life more fully. It is impossible to properly savor the taste of a snowflake or the laughter of the little girl who loves to eat them when I’m in a hurry.
It’s safer to hurry. Giving much time to others involves great risk to my image of myself. No one notices small flaws on a galloping horse. When I slow down reality intrudes. But community built around real life is real community. You can’t get there at warp speed.