The word “community” has been swimming in my mind this week. Sometimes it sinks to the deep end and I forget about it for a few minutes, or even hours, and then it comes up for air again.
- a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common
- a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attributes, interests, and goals
The setting: Freshman dorms. The year: 2009. I was out of sorts. My reliable, long-time community of friends from high school was strung out across the country, and we barely stayed in touch, let alone spoke face-to-face. The act of moving away to college deteriorated our community, only leaving these little threads of connection: memories, irregular and sparsely scheduled coffee dates during school breaks, and Facebook messages. A fall leaf, detached from a tree and worn down to it’s lacy veins has more matter than our community had in that year. Each of us was off on our own adventure. We were making new lives and forming new communities around us wherever we went.
I remember coming back to campus after Christmas break, a tupperware full of cookie dough truffles (essentially bite-sized pieces of egg-free cookie dough, dipped in chocolate). Looking back, I think that was my way of bringing a little slice of community to the building my dorm was in: something to enjoy in the company of others, something to share with new friends. To be honest the only thread of community I had with my dorm mates can be described in the first definition of community: we lived in the same place. When I moved into my own apartment, that community deteriorated, too.
In contrast, a single community of people brought me to tears recently, when I watched well over 300 people congregate to celebrate the life of someone else—someone that believed in the power of community so strongly that he loved unabashedly. Watching this community come together was moving beyond words. Even the second definition of the word “community” doesn’t describe the intimacy and trust felt within those walls.
In many ways, I feel like I had never understood the importance of community until now. But this week--this month-it’s as if the word was injected into my mind with a syringe. I’ve seen it in everything around me: strong communities, weak communities, and the some-where-inbetween communities.
Yields: 12 | Total Time:
- 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashew pieces
- 1/2 cup roasted unsalted macadamia nuts
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted and diced
- 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- Pinch salt
- Place dates in bowl of food processor and pulse until fined minced and sticky.
- Add salt, cashews, macadamia nuts, and honey to the food processor. Pulse until the nuts form a fine meal that sticks together when rolled into a ball.
- Fold chocolate chips into the mixture, then form into 1-inch spheres. Place balls in an air-tight tupperware and set in fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.