Five Undeniable Traits of Strong Community
The smell of burning wheat is a very distinct smell. Its different than the smell of a forest fires. It is a heavy, dank smell. When a wheat field burns, it deploys a dark plume of smoke. It let’s every farmer for miles know that a field is has caught fire. And the moment that smoke goes into the air, a harvest can change terribly.
My family experienced a harvest fire first hand this last harvest. A bearing went out in our combine which heated up the little metal balls inside and then those little pieces of metal escaped from the housing into the field catching the wheat on fire. My dad smelled the smoke first and then saw the flames behind him. Turning toward the road to get out of the field and calling 911, there were mere minutes before this could have gotten out of hand.
Within minutes, one of our neighbors and good friends jumped in a tractor with a piece for farm equipment attached to it and rushed to our field. He cut through the ground the fire was moving toward to keep it contained. Others came with trucks full of water. Then trucks from two fire districts showed up and the fire was out.
We got lucky.
True Community, True Support
My mom texted me that there was a fire. She heard my dad tell the driver over the radio and that he called 911. That was the last she heard from my father before contacting me. She also let me know that one of my dad’s friends had come to the house to make sure our yard was watered down in case the fire came near the farmyard.
I contacted my two good friends who are neighbors to my parents. They were already at the field that was on fire. Their families were either helping or ready to help at a moments notice. Once things calmed down, they let me know my dad was ok. I was able to tell my mom and brother the news.
After the fire was out, and the fire district was making sure it didn’t flare up. Another neighbor came by with drinks for everyone who helped and to check on my mom. Then another neighbor came up to see how everyone was doing and if my parents needed anything. And another, and another. My parents were experiencing strong community.
Five Signs of True Community
1) Community will come right away: Our neighbors saw the fire and left their fields to help. And they even made it before the fire department.
2) Community will stand with you: They will be there from start to finish, helping every step of the way.
3) Community will answer the call: You do not have to work hard to get there attention. When you need them, they will be there.
4) Community continues to support: People kept coming over to check on my family. Bringing meals and encouragement.
5) Community wants the best: Not only do they want to leave you doing well. They want the best for you.
I am so thankful for everyone who came to my family’s aide. Who followed up and encouraged them afterwards. The family that brought meals to life spirits. My friends for giving me updates and coming to the rescue. Without this kind of community, things could have been far different.
Call to Action
Not everyone has community like this. In fact, we experience everyday how we do not have this type of community in our lives. Sometimes it starts with us though. We have to be intentional and choose to create this community. And to do that, we need to know what is most important in our lives. We need to find a community that supports out priorities.
To learn more about finding your True North, where you can live your best life based off of your priorites go to my blog and read the True North Manifesto.
This was adapted from a previous post on my blog: How a Wheat Fire Taught Me about Community