Shared experience and shared labor are two of the building blocks of authentic community that foster relationships and bonds that endure. I see people differently when I have experienced them in ritual. The memory of our voices joined in chanting connects me to them. The memory of weeding a labyrinth together and of moving wood together for a bonfire builds a sense of appreciation and gratitude for what we are to each other and what we are together. Cooking for each other as we camp at a festival and sharing stories during the meal makes me feel sure of who I am in the context of others. Unexpectedly running into friends or acquaintances at the local bookstore or coffee house expands my sense of being part of the web of relationships.  Seeing someone dance by the fire who I only knew before as words on a screen, transforms them an imagined personality to a real person.

(via Place & Purpose – paganSquare)

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