/ The World Feels Like Its Changing

Walk 5-20-2018


Dan Benavidez

Early last Sunday morning the 20th it was cloudy, lightly raining and overcast and a bit chilly when Chief Butler called me and told me the rain should stop by 10:30 so we will be doing our neighborhood walk. And I said to me self, self we’ll see. But sure enough the rain stopped, and it had cleared up quite a bit by the time we started our walk so good on you Chief Butler good on you as you must know whether people in high places and you are always ready to go into the neighborhoods to meet and greet the people even on chilly cloudy days. And after we started our walk me was a happy camper because like on our past neighborhood walks we did meet and talk to some very interesting people. Joanne who remembered Chief Butler from way back, Sam walking his beautiful dog and Mike showing his Frisbee skill with Tom, Linda and Emily,

And Randi from Vail. From all of them what makes me feel so very good is that they ALL Love Longmont!!

And Oh my gosh just about six (6) weeks until Chief Mike Butler starts his 5th year walking down in the neighborhoods of Longmont meeting and greeting our neighbors assuring them they “BELONG “Starting his fifth year of his “Belonging Revolution”

And thank you, Longmont Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Polly Christensen for walking with us again and thank you Colorado State Representative, Boulder County Deputy District Attorney Mike Foote for walking with us!

Mike’s Perspective

We walked what we referred to as the Loomiller Neighborhood. It was a relatively cloudy and cool day but we took a chance to walk. State representative Mike Foote and city council person Polly Christensen walked with us.

On each of our walks, we encounter many people who are profoundly honest with us. They express their pain, their limits, their hope, their hopelessness, and their desire for inner peace. Many of those we encounter speak of the love they have within them that is just waiting and wanting to be unleashed.

Many speak of the growth of our community and the difficulty they have in reconciling the speed of that change with the rhythms of their personal lives. It seems dramatic beginnings and endings are more prevalent than they once were. Circumstances people thought were stable and secure seem less so, and things that were distant possibilities have become worrisomely close. Often, we encounter people who, at times, feel displaced in our community and world that is supposedly our home yet, for some reason, completely at odds with the love in our hearts.

That is why we believe our Belonging Revolution is critical to our community and perhaps to our society. Many people live with a deep, subconscious longing to feel connected, to feel more congruent with the happenings in our world, to move away from our fear-based news media and thought systems, to cross over into something new and, more than ever, to feel and believe they BELONG to our community and indeed our world.

How can we best participate in a transition from feeling disconnected to one of personal belonging - it seems so overwhelming, huge and idealistic? Much is being done by the secular world to try to connect us. Books, seminars, support groups, social media all proclaim a better way to love, to lead and to live. And as we walk neighborhoods and meet people where they live, we still get a prevailing message and feeling that the secular mechanism is not finding the sweet spot, the cornerstone of our longing for purpose and meaning and clarity.

People on our walks let us know that we live in a world that feels as if it is changing at break-neck speed for them. We believe our Belonging Revolution is a way to learn how to slow down and a way to find depth in our lives. We develop personal connections with people and give them a safe place to express their thoughts and concerns. Often, we see relief on people’s faces when we are with them. They can begin to see the possibility of more relatedness with our community. The world people want for themselves and their children will not emerge from digital speed, but rather from a spiritual stillness that takes root in our souls. Then and only then will we create a world that reflects our hearts and our deepest longings. So much more...

Longmont Council Member Polly Christensen

Our Sunday walk was a very pleasant day, but the overcast skies encouraged most people to stay inside this area of town, just north of Loomiller Park. We did talk with five groups of people who were out and about. Jerri was weeding her lovely tulip bed on her day off from work and taking some time away from caring for her mother. A fellow named Sam was out walking his 12 -year-old yellow lab. He was very affable and felt Longmont was very safe. He is concerned about how expensive it is becoming to live in Longmont. Tom, Linda, and Emily were out in the park playing Frisbee. All had lived here for many years and Tom was born here. Tom’s dad was even mayor many years ago. They were all fond of Longmont and intend to stay. Also in the park was Randi from Vail valley, who has been staying here for about four months and will soon be returning to Vail. He has enjoyed his time here. Randi was feeding a very large collection of ducks and geese, who will certainly miss him. Lastly we met Joanne, an interesting woman who has lived in Longmont for over 40 years. She is very friendly and feels safe here but worries about the tides of drugs that have periodically sweep through our town and society. From cocaine to meth. Joanne has overcome many challenges and has great empathy for those still struggling. Her brother made a brief appearance, but was only willing to talk with people he could be assured agreed with him politically. How different from his sister, who simply has a kind heart for anyone of goodwill. I never fail to take heart in the friendliness and diverse interests of Longmonters.

Mike Foote, House District 12 Representative, House District 12 Representative, PO Box 469., Lafayette, Colorado 80026

I appreciated walking around the neighborhood with you, Chief Butler, and Polly Christensen yesterday.  I was pleasantly surprised about how long people wanted to talk.  Usually at the door strangers get a minute or two, but in our circumstance some people didn't want to stop talking!  This kind of outreach is effective and I'm sure appreciated by the community.