Yesterday I walked down my street, and this neighbourhood that borders Kitchener and Waterloo was having a little block party, with this small portion of the street closed. Children were out playing, painting and having fun, and the adults had a table setup on the street to chat.
I really like this sort of thing. It takes effort to meet your neighbours these days. And we could do a lot more of these types of events, especially in Waterloo.
Just coming back from the Hillside Festival at Guelph Lake - I usually go for the weekend, but just went Sunday night this year, for Dya Singh, Vieux Farka Toure, Ron Sexsmith and Ani DiFranco - the whole thing is a bastion of sustainable planning, community-building and the spread of social values. The big push this year was a push against bottled water. As Ani remarked, it's free and should stay that way. They avoided about 7,000 water bottled by providing a water re-fill station.
But the big sell to me is the kindness of all the people there, the spirit of sharing and such - almost like a mini-Woodstock, where things can go wrong but all the big stuff stays right.
And when I was leaving, in a long line to take a bus to get to another late night bus, a couple of people walked along this line, asking (near pleading) for anyone who wanted wanted a ride to Waterloo. How convenient! But it shows what was on their mind - at the marriage of environmentalism and community, they really wanted to fit more people into the van.
Even if it wasn't immediately convenient.
I'm just reminded now of another instance of someone who offered to help me a few months back, without knowing me well - and now being able to mutually support each other and achieve a lot.
Good things often come out when the attempt is made.