Deep down in the fiber of our being I think we all long to have roots in our community. We long to be loved, known and have a sense of belonging. We want our worth to be acknowledged by those around us and to be appreciated. But alas, we live in a world filled with technology, fortress homes, entitlement, instant gratification, violence, mistrust, hatred and brokenness. All of these things drive us apart and break up communities. We are a very mobile society, where the grass is always greener in the next town, city, state or country. We want to be strong, independent and self-reliant. We can’t admit that we are weak, in need help or allow ourselves to be inter-dependent. We have so few good models of healthy communities with deep roots.
The longer I live in Harrisburg the deeper my roots grow and the more connected I am to those around me. I know that I haven’t been here very long in the big picture and my roots could grow deeper. But I am starting to get a glimpse of what being rooted in this community could mean. I think for many of us including myself, fears prevent us from being vulnerable and letting our roots go even deeper and become intertwined. We opt for being transplanted into a different setting and having to start over instead of doing the hard work of growing together.
I feel blessed to have been rooted in Harrisburg for the past 7 years of my journey of learning and growing. I have found a home here, filled with a community of friends that have become a second family. I am known, loved and cared for by this community and I am now a small part of Harrisburg’s history. My roots have grown into the fertile soil of Harrisburg and have absorbed so many good things. The Harrisburg community is now part of my identity because it has helped me to grow and change.