By Nura Zaki - Member Engagement and Advocacy Intern
Ever since I was a young child I was taught to cherish and value community. In my life, this has looked like Sunday afternoons eating coffee cake in a church basement long after the service had ended because my Mom made a point to check-in with everyone who yearned a listening ear. Or when I would tag along with my Dad for a meeting of leaders strategizing about how to prevent yet another factory from entering our neighborhood ridden with dirty industry. It has also looked like a late summer night gathered around a campfire in my aunt’s backyard in Canada, ending a long day of play with my cousins and making every moment matter of the few times we met during the year.
Each of these memories serve me today because they shape my understanding of community. It is easy to overuse this word and have it mean less than all that it represents. Truly doing justice to the fullness of the idea of community requires acknowledging those involved in the communing. People are who make mere moments, memories, and everyday endeavors exceptional.
My most recent stage in life has brought me to Washington, DC, as a CAPS Fellow interning at Lutheran Services in America (to my faithful fans who knew this already, I appreciate you). It’s just about over now and my mind finally has time to process the moments and store them as memories right next to all the rest, like a living library of my own history. As I prepare to leave this city where you can’t duck for cover from the rain without that spot being of some significance to our nation's history (it’s raining today), I’ll take what I’ve learned from the places and spaces I entered into and from those around me. So, I’ll miss the community we made here, but only to be able to recreate it elsewhere, with others, to continue making connections that last the present.