On Sunday we woke up to a blanket of snow across our community. This was panto performance day so my thoughts should have been about Health and Safety! Would people be able to get through the conditions to the show? Should we cancel? But my reaction was pure joy and excitement! I just love stepping out and seeing the beauty of a fresh blanket of snow. I love the atmosphere that snow brings. Initially a quiet tranquility followed by a slow emergence of people coming out to explore. My favourite part is walking through the snow and seeing my footprints laying a fresh path. Then as the day goes by you see the crossing of footprints as more people come out to build snowmen, go sledging, go shopping for emergency supplies, go check on a neighbour or try to get to the place they are meant to be!
Seeing the footprints made me reflect upon our street connecting. We talk alot about a ‘pathway’. Our street connecting is about creating a pathway to community, encouraging people to engage in the pathway, helping people overcome barriers to progressing on the pathway, and seeing the fruits of the pathway as we build a more connected flourishing community. We spend a lot of time in street connecting offering people the opportunity to engage, finding out what is the motivator to act, and supporting people to make those first steps.
But for so many people these first steps are very scary and daunting! They are not filled with the feelings of joy and excitement I had about taking those steps in the snow. The fear of the unknown, previous bad experiences, ill-health and physical barriers are amongst the many barriers people have to taking those steps.
For some people it might be that they have never been asked or they’ve just been waiting for someone to ask. They are then ready to go and create a pathway in the snow. For some they are not able to make those first steps in the snow themselves but they might be happy to follow in someone else’s footsteps first. Whichever it is the most important thing is that we continue to ask people to take those steps on a pathway. Here in Firs & Bromford we have stories which show that these steps can transform lives, and together can build a community.