Of all the walks Mike and I have made since July of 2014 none started so delightfully as this walk. Oh, my how pleasing it was to be invited by Colleen Murphy to her home before our walk she made tasty umm splendid Scones and excellent coffee for us before we began our walk in her neighborhood! And what an enlightening discussion of the issues from homelessness to the needs of our Police and Firefighter and much more facing our Community that ensued during our Scones and coffee feast by Colleen, Longmont Council Member Joan Peck, and Barbara. As I listened to the discussion memories flooded back to me of the many homeless persons Mike and I have met during our walks and the homeless people I see in my neighborhood. And how nice it was to share with Lee Phillips who joined us at Colleen’s home and accompanied us on our walk.
And the talks and sharing we experienced on our walk with the neighbors in the Parker Dr. neighborhood and how I felt that how great it was the neighbor who is U.S. Air Force Veteran and who served our country and who helped evacuate many by helicopter from Vietnam at the end of the war there and the other neighbors who we met and shared with who all love Longmont and all felt they belonged in awesome Longmont City!
And oh My! When I got home after our walk my day was topped off by an extended family member who looks as if she might be homeless came by and told me Pa Pa Dan I got me a nice condo I am going to be alright! I shouted out to her Yippee! And the two Latino gentlemen that I talked to out on the curb one who speaks no English and I see walking to the locals stores daily the other gentleman my friend for a longtime whose English is okay and we joked and laughed about when I win the Lottery which one of them is going to get the Red Oldsmobile car parked in my drive way! I felt that for sure that we belong!
I know I have said this before but Ah I feel so much better now and continue to feel better after each of our “Belonging Revolution” neighborhood walks because I have since the election of 2014 on somewhat regular basis been fighting off the morose and I don’t give a damn I give up feeling.
Nonetheless I am okay now because I just know from the bottom of my heart that chief Mike Butlers “Belonging Revolution” neighborhood walks are right on! and is where I belong on Sunday mornings walking along with Chief Butler and the other great ones who join us on our neighborhood walks. And coming home after our walks and knowing that we are there for each other!
And thank you Longmont City Council Member Joan Peck for walking with us again and thank you Colleen, Barbara and Lee for accompanying us on our walk you all made our walk an ever so fruitful and enjoyable walk!
This walk had a different flavor to it. Colleen invited Dan and me to enjoy scones and coffee prior to our walk. Barb, Colleen's good friend joined us. Joan Peck, City Council Person, also joined us and walked with us. Lee, the neighborhood's HOA President participated as well. Colleen is a wonderful host, the scones were mightily delicious, and the coffee widened our eyes! Thank you, Colleen!
While enjoying Colleen's hospitality, Colleen and Barb told us a little bit about their neighborhood. Concerns regarding unwanted occupied rv's, new apartments being built adjacent to their neighborhood, and a couple of disorder-related issues surfaced in our conversation. Colleen also told us that Police Officer Chris was aware of all the issues and working with the neighborhood to assist. Colleen and Barb both passionately asked what they, as citizens, could do outside of calling the police or other service providers. After hearing their concerns, I invited Colleen and Barb to recruit twenty neighbors to meet with me and/or other representatives of the public safety to provide them some guidance about how to identify and bring the gifts of their neighborhood to life and address their issues. Go Colleen and Barb!!!
We spent close to two hours in their neighborhood. We met a number of people who both leased and owned their residence. Everyone felt good about their neighborhood, they felt safe and all volunteered to help out in their neighborhood and our community.
People like Colleen, Barb and Lee are connectors. Community connectors cannot be hired; there is no degree in community connection; it is not taught at any academy nor can community connecting be adopted by a system. Connectors are gift-centered people who see the half full in everyone. It is a natural skill and abundant in every neighborhood. Community connecting is a matter of the intention - an intention to enhance the spirit of connection. Connectors believe in the people in their neighborhood and they know their neighborhood is rich in resources and spirit. Again, Colleen, Barb and Lee know the power of joining people and there are hospitable. We are all grateful!
I just want to thank you soooo much for taking the time on Sunday morning to be with my neighbors and I. Thank you so much for helping me meet some of my neighbors, I may never have met. After our walk about in the neighborhood and talking with you all, I realized staying focused on what’s wrong prevented me from seeing what's right about Longmont. I have been in Longmont since 1979 and it has changed so much over the years and I would say, 95% for the better. Now that I have been asked to be part of the solution, I feel liberated. I have asked our local King Soopers manager to join our neighborhood task force and he is all in! We will gather as many as we can to have a conversation with the City of Longmont's Fire and Safety and to see what we can do to make Longmont better and learn how to deal with what comes from a growing, fabulous city. Again, thank you very much for your time and consideration.