The fog has rolled in and the ground is splattered with vivid colour as the leaves fall. My japanese maple is a furnace of red against the grey sky. I have honoured my ancestors these last few days, and I am ready to face into the winter.
If we lived in a traditional subsistence culture, now would be the time to settle into a more indoor life for the coming months, to focus on crafting and repairing tools and clothing, making art, and resting. We would naturally settle into a greater closeness with others, for better or worse we would have plenty of intimacy and plenty of time to share our stories. I’m not trying to glamorize this. Of course humans have human experiences and human feelings, and these can be ugly, whether we happen to be living in a traditional or a modern culture. But having lived in a small isolated community for many years myself, I can tell you that one thing this kind of life brings, along with all its pains and pitfalls, is a sense of belonging.
We often hear that our modern culture is rootless. But in many ways this rootlessness serves us. We have unprecedented freedoms, and the incredible privilege of choice. We have extraordinary wealth, and the possibility for our words and images to have instantaneous global reach. In many ways, in almost every way, we are more interconnected than ever before. Yet we still ache for the sense of belonging that is woven into the fabric of life in traditional cultures.
The sense of belonging is a basic human need. Without it, our health, both emotional and physical, suffers greatly. How can we weave this sense of belonging back into our lives as they are? This is the question we will be asking this month at Vivid.
At midlife, our sense of belonging can shift. Our role in community and family is shifting, and this can be both empowering and sometimes lonely. We need to find new ways to belong.
We’ll circle in on the meaning and importance of belonging this month through our writing and sharing, in our podcasts, and in conversation with you. To get you thinking about the meaning of belonging in your life, we’ve created some gorgeous printable journal pages with prompts for you too ponder… download them here for free: November Journaling Prompts from Vivid. If you want to share any of your journaling, we’d love to hear it, either here in the comments, or over on the Vivid Facebook community.