I've found myself wondering lately about what makes community.
I worried that I wouldn't be able to find a close community in our new town, because it took 4 years in our old house before we were starting to feel like we had close community.
Now, we've been moved in for just over a month, and I feel close to my new neighbors already. We are involved in our church, I see people I know at the library or the grocery store. It is a really nice feeling to have.
So what makes a place have community? Is it the size of the town? Is it the location of nearby amenities or other factors such as limited transportation? Or is just the people in that community?
The one thing we were hesitant about in leaving our old neighborhood was missing the neighbors who we knew looked out for each other. In our new neighborhood, we hang out in the cul de sac with our kids when the weather is nice, and the neighbors know which car goes with which house, and keep track of anything strange or unusual happening in the neighborhood.
They genuinely care when one of my kids get sick, or we have a repair truck at our house, or even when we are just leaving for a couple days to visit family.
Hopefully, I am adding to the community of the area. I've become a volunteer at the church and as a soccer coach. My oldest son likes to introduce himself to everyone everywhere he goes (a few of our neighbors said that they didn't know some of the other neighbors very well and we met just about everyone in two weeks). I have signed up for the community homeschool co-op for next year. The pool will be open soon, and I may teach swim lessons if anyone asks me to, although I don't plan on starting my own business officially.
Spending time with people in my neighborhood and learning more about their lives as they learn more about mine. That's a good enough definition of community for me right now.