"To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses — that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things."
~Pablo Neruda, from "Childhood and Poetry."
I felt this sense of unity with strangers at a candlelight vigil for Tibet during the 2008 Olympics.
I feel it at community celebrations, outdoor concerts where kids dance together and food is shared with strangers, instantly making friends. I teeter on the introvert / extrovert line, and after days content being alone I'm suddenly desperate for community. Thank god for farmer's markets that make me feel a little more connected in our individualistic society.
Reading Neruda's words in O Magazine, I first thought of the new online community I've found on PulseWire. In the last week, I've read the stories of women from Africa, India, Mexico and here in the U.S. I've never seen them in person, or walked into their homes, but I feel a sense of friendship and an even greater sense of responsibility that we all have the space to thrive, to continue to share our stories.