One of the reasons why I wanted to create a small community to live in was because of the opportunities living together might generate for sharing and caring.
We three couples who have created our communal home on Mitchells Island affectionately call ourselves The Shedders** because one of the couples lived in the old shed on the property as our house was being built.
Old friends for many years, we decided about 9 years ago that we would share our lives as we went into senior years and old age – for the enjoyment of each other’s company and for support, too.
It’s worked out brilliantly thus far. Today four of us went to help out a friend who is in poor health at the moment. She and her husband have a beautiful biodynamic garlic farm and there was weeding needing to be done. One of their garlic gardens that might have taken one person a chunk of the day to weed took us an hour or so. It’s so convivial and enlivening to do a project together as we’ve discovered on more than one occasion.
I wonder why it’s difficult for people to ask for support… just something we’re not conditioned to do, I guess. We Shedders have gotten pretty good at it with practice, and to good effect, too.
It’s a spiritual practice, for sure. I think that’s why those who want to evolve spiritually live in cloisters or ashrams. When it works, it’s wonderful and when it doesn’t, it shows up our shadow side and reveals just where our growing edge is.
I can’t rattle off many wise quotes but this one from the Indian epic, The Ramayana, has stuck with me forever:
When I do not know who I am, I serve You and when I do know who I am, You and I are One.
Tasya bhumisu viniyogah
Samyama must be developed gradually.*
*Patanjali’s Yogasutras, translation and commentary by T.K.V. Desikachar.
**Read all about the Shedders.