Seven years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and left many families evacuated, displaced, or homeless. Now Hurricane Isaac is hitting the area again and who’s to know how this will affect the state’s children. I remember hearing a psychologist talk on NPR and she said that A child can lose her home and all her things, but what is really damaging is if she loses her sense of security and connection that comes from her family.
I carry this wisdom with me daily, and it has proven to be especially valuable as of late. See, we are likely going to have to move house. It isn’t from a tragic weather event. There weren’t any deaths or illnesses that prompted this. The lease was simply up on our wonderful little home and we haven’t been able to negotiate a purchase price with the owner. What started as a year-long experiment in cohousing started to become a quest to see how we could continue to live here beyond the 12 months.
I know what happens when you move from one place to another. Things get lost in the shuffle, but new things are found. Friendships. But I am particularly leery of how the loss of daily connection with our neighbors will affect my children. My daughter has become an independent four-year old that can hold her own as the sole girl in this community surrounded by more than a dozen little neighbor boys. And her exposure to the adults (that live in the twenty-plus neighboring households) has given her the ability to hold a conversation with her elders.
I am also curious how it will affect my husband and I too. We tend to be a private couple, so this forces us to come out of our shell and participate in building community with others.
But coming back to the point: We can weather changes together by creating an atmosphere of love, connection, discussion, and support. These changes are not rooted in the general ebb and flow of life, and it is only good for all four of us to work together to make the change gracefully.