missing the same imaginary place

"A community is a group of people united by the common objects of their love." ~ St. Augustine, The City of God

Spending time at home always makes me realize a couple of things:
1. Though I love spending time with my family and friends in Michigan, I love my home at the Farm; I love having my own space and I miss it while I am away from it.
2. I love community. I love living in community, I love knowing and being friends with my neighbors, I love that as a community we care for each other.

Community is what I missed after I left the Farm, but for whatever reason, this time being at home made me really aware of the little communities I had created for myself when I wasn't at the Farm. My small community of college friends, my community at church, my community of the besties--the group of friends I hold most dear here in Michigan. All of these communities; groups; urban families. There is something to be said about the ability to connect with people on some level, call it, "united by the common objects of (their) love," as Augustine suggested; or a linking deepened sense of understanding after years of comiseration (like in families); call it mutual fondness for the same things.

I am amazed at how these communities have changed; dynamics shifting after people come and go, as waiteresses in this restaurant called life; how strong some bonds have become; how friendships that have been tested by really trying times continue and how some fell by the wayside. I am amazed that, though I feel a million miles away at the Farm, we pick up where we left off when I come back into these communities.

I have used this quote before, but it rings so true to what I am feeling tonight, and also seem appropriate as I prepare to make my way back to the "group of people who miss the same imaginary place."

When you read this, you can even replace the word "home," with "community."

"You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of the sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone....You'll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day one day and it's just gone. And you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place." ~Andrew Largeman in Garden State

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