A Small Part of the Whole

When I had my book launch nearly a year ago, I was overwhelmed by the show of support from the community I live in. Not only did many people from the community come out but some from Truro (2.5 hrs away), Halifax, the Valley and South Shore. The energy in that little community centre was staggering. Good vibes were floating everywhere.

As a community we shared in the success of the book, and later many people said they felt proud, not only for me but as a community. Look what we did! We showed everyone what East Dalhousie could do. The folks at Nimbus were a little bit surprised themselves I think.

I remember saying to everyone that day that in many ways it felt as though the book belonged to all of us, not only because of the setting, but because as a community we share in one another’s success. It’s a part of what being a community is all about, and I meant it!

Small communities are like a big family. We share in one another success, failure, hurts, sorrows, and happiness. We are there to pat each other on the back, to scold one another if necessary, to laugh together and above all to lift each other up during the darkest times. It doesn’t matter if you’ve moved away or remained here your entire life, nothing can truly separate you from the small part of who you are if you grow up or have ever lived in a small rural community.

This year we seem to have suffered many losses as a community. But we are strong. Tragedy has touched each individual family over the years and yet we can still find a way to laugh, to stand in awe of life’s mysteries, to be empowered by the very burdens we share. Together we are made stronger.

These past few weeks, the community shares in one family’s grief as they suffer a second most tragic loss in a few short months. These deaths have touched each one of us, not only on the surface but in that place within us that reaches far, far deeper. We have lost another one of our own.

On the surface we will smile and continue on with our daily lives but inside there is a small place hollowed out from our sadness. But we are strong and that place will heal as we remember that each one of us is a small part of the whole.

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  1. Jan Coates

     /  September 6, 2010

    I’m envious of the community support you received for your book! Wolfville is just that much bigger, but I’m hoping a few souls will venture into Halifax for my launch in Oct. That traffic post thing you have on your blog is very cool – I’d like to chat sometime about how to increase traffic to my site…Hope you’re not working this gorgeous, cool!, sunny day!

    • I’m sure the good folks from Wolfville will venture into the city to attend your launch, Jan. Launches are so much fun. The time is closing in for you. Exciting!

  2. I love the idea of community…there was definitely a sense of community where I used to live in West Saint John. Unfortunately, I haven’t really managed to find my niche in Hammond River yet…I haven’t made an effort to know who my neighbours are…

    Glad the support was there during your neighbours’ tragedy…


    • I’m sure the people who have moved here from away, who become involved in community events, feel a strong sense of community around them as well. Sometimes we have to be the ones to put ourselves out there and get involved, let the community know who we are.

  3. Melanie

     /  September 6, 2010

    I miss that sense of community very much — I don’t even know what the people who live in the apartment across the hall look like! Although I do still feel like a part of the community back home, even though I only visit a few times a year. I guess I should count myself lucky, many people don’t even have that.

    • City life is certainly different and you are still very much a part of the community here. No matter where you are, where you go, that feeling of belonging is deeply rooted.

  4. I felt the same way when I launched my novel in 2008. I was shocked and surprised by the support. I never expected it. Back in 1996, we suffered a horrible murder/suicide here at the lake, and the outpouring of support from across the province was incredible. It’s moments like that when people come together that makes me proud to be a human being. I love the sense community during those terrible times and because the moments are “bitter sweet” I think the generosity and support has enough more impact.

    • Tragedy always pulls people together and a good thing that it does. Where would be during those times without the support of family, friends and neighbours. It is during these times that we learn about the generosity of others.

  5. This is so touching!! Sorry your community has suffered such tremendous loss, but this also makes me wish I was part of a small community to share these things with.

    • Thanks you for visiting Erin, and for leaving a comment. The support that comes from small communities is phenomenal. For those of us who have that support and closeness it is difficult to imagine it not being there.

  6. Community is a wonderful thing.. especially in the hard times. It’s wonderful how much support you recieved for your book. :)

    • Thanks for visiting , Linda, and for your comment. Community is a wonderful thing,not only during the good times but the hard times, as well.

  7. You make me miss living in a small town.

  8. it’s always sad to hear about hard times….you are lucky to give and receive so much support. Makes your novel that much more special, I think.

  9. Even though I live NEAR WOLFVILLE, I have not met Jan Coates! I live in a small community not far from town, but yet feel as if I am not really part of a community. Strange how some areas are closely knit, but in others everyone seems simply to go along their own way.
    You are blessed, Laura.

    • You must try and meet Jan some day. Jan is terrific and her books sounds great. I can hardly wait to get a copy. I’m sure she’ll be having some signings in the area. :)


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