We were driving through a part of town we hadn't been to in awhile.
My eyes scanned the road ahead and landed on the building site of a new neighbourhood of homes.
As usual, I felt myself bristle at the thought of more houses crowding our community.
Oh Mama...look, she said from the back seat, some builders are making houses so new families can have a home. They will be so happy.
And there it was; the clarity that life experiences and cynicism and even entitlement (if I'm being really honest) have blurred.
Her four-year-old heart sees every person, every family, every home as a part of her community.
And her belief that every person belongs is so beautiful and pure that I can't find the right words to tell you what it made me feel.
I was humbled and lifted by how much her viewpoint differed from mine.
A few days later, I walked into a community where I felt like I had a home.
And I remembered her words, because there was a time when I hadn't felt like I belonged.
What space was there for me, I had wondered, in these established communities?
How would I ever be able to build a home in this space?
In a town where there were so many talented writers, bloggers, and storytellers, with well-established roots and good relationships with their neighbours, I felt like a house without an address.
At least that's what I told myself, until I learned that I was wrong.
Every year, I return from Blissdom with ideas and motivation and inspiration.
And I am reminded that I am part of a community where every person belongs.
Where anyone can build a home.
I am brave enough now to knock on my neighbour's door, to hope they'll invite me inside, to imagine we'll get to know one another.
And I thank everyone of you who has opened their door for me.
You have humbled and lifted me, too.
I hope we can continue to grow this community and hold onto the vision my daughter has when she sees the world. I hope we can lift each other up.
To get started, take a moment to read about my friend Alex's post-Blissdom project.
I can't think of a better place to bring people together than at a potluck of joy.
See you there, neighbour.