Last weekend, my partner and I celebrated the beauty of Spring that surrounds us. We basked in the warmth of the hotter than usual temperatures, soaked up some much needed vitamin D, and beamed at the joy that seemed to be apparent in every crevice of the city we live in.
It’s amazing what the sunshine can bring. The birds are chirping, the insects buzzing, and spectacularly colourful buds are blooming all around. The energy of Spring is fresh, joyful, renewing, and full of opportunity.
Along with nature, are swarms of people everywhere. Individuals have crawled out from their hibernation, and are gathering to celebrate the changing of a season. The theme of community can be sensed near and far.
Community is why I love Spring SO much. As you may have already recognized from former posts, community is key to me, as well as being a major player in the well-being of our society. Much of the collective is just starting to comprehend the necessity, and very essence of community.
However, there are particular groups and cultures who have recognized the significance of community for years and years past, and continue to garner their traditions based on this sense of ‘oneness.’ First Nations groups for example, have always set a foundation for the collective in their particular regions or homes. Many of the practises that exist today, are credited to the traditions of our fellow people. Some of my very own practises in the classroom exist because of what has been a part of our history. My classroom community circles, and the restorative practices that I learned about recently through a conference, all exist because of these strong traditions. There is a reason they are making their presence known.
We thrive on human connection. After all, we are one – aren’t we?
That’s why last weekend, when we were joyfully exploring our city, I was ecstatic to arrive at Trinity Park. Trinity Park explodes with people of all ages and interests in the warmer months. In one direction, groups of friends can be seen connecting over good food and drink, and a meaningful, or playful conversation. In another direction, there are individuals bringing back “play,” through the use of hula hoops, tight ropes, and a whole host of other park accessories. Strangers make friends with strangers (and their pets), and there is a general, quiet respect for those around you, who are simply taking in the same beautiful energy that you are.
My favourite part of our time in Trinity last weekend, was when we happened upon a drumming circle. Drumming circles date back as far as 6,000 B.C. and continued throughout the years, to be used globally in almost every culture, in order to create community, to perform rituals, to celebrate, to communicate, to alter the state of consciousness, and to bring about healing.
My face was like a kid in a candy store when we discovered this special celebration in the park that day. I immediately planted myself in front of the circle and was mesmerized for a long time.
It was as though the circle beckoned me.
That’s what happens when community exists – it calls you to be a part of it. Everyone desires to be a part of a group of co-existing souls.
There were all walks of life that day – those who had a history of experiencing the healing powers of a drumming circle, and those who were just curious to see what it was all about. There were little kids enamoured by this celebration in the middle of their walk through the park, and pets who perked their ears at the rhythmic hum that echoed throughout.
What I love most about this experience is how everyone comes together. There was a beautiful synchronicity to the music that unfolded, despite no leader, and no previous ‘rehearsal.’ Each drummer felt the energy of the drummers around them, and created a meditative rhythm that truly moved each soul.
In addition to the beautiful music, individuals both acquainted and not, gathered in the center to dance freely; allowing their bodies to move in a way that expressed their individuality – without care for choreography, or worry of perceived judgement. How liberating!
Other individuals celebrated the community that was coming together by offering up gifts of food, hugs, and gratitude – again, often to complete strangers and with gifts that are priceless!
This is truly a unique experience and one that I hope for everyone to be part of at some point or another. I was lost in my own bliss, and in the peaceful energy of all those who connected at the park that day.
I have heard the stereotypes about big cities and particularly about Toronto where we live. Yes, it can be a cold environment if that’s what you choose to see. But there are those spaces carved out in the city, where other like-minded souls are looking to share love, laughter, healing and kindness towards one another.
Although the drumming has ended from that day in the park…the beat goes on in my heart.