Our Pool of Knowledge
Patricia Althouse

What are some of the things that hold community together and define it?  A community has shared culture, interests, values and stories. A community has a shared pool of knowledge; skills and techniques that are passed down from one generation to the next. A community has hungry people to feed, young people to guide, lonely people to befriend, and elderly people to comfort. Members of any community should strive to support its Members for all of their needs. Communities must have Members willing to help each other.  It must have people who are willing to give in a multitude of ways, with which we collectively lift each other up. Those include all the things we’ve heard about before: time, energy, money, and teachable skills.

Some call Four Quarters a community, and it is true that we share culture, interests, values, stories and knowledge amongst ourselves.  We are bound together by more than a few events.  We are bound together by more than fellowship, although we certainly have plenty of fellowship.  We have many, many good people who give of themselves for others in innumerable ways.  We have many more who have yet to discover how they can best serve.

When you think about yourself in relationship to your community, any community of which you are a part, I want you to ask yourself something. “What is my Gift?  What do I do that is Incredible?  What do I know that the rest of us might want to learn about?” The ideas I’m asking you to think of are connected with community knowledge and skills. Especially the skills necessary to live simply and closely to the Land.  It’s the practical side of living in a Spiritual manner, wouldn’t you agree?

The idea has come up several times, in casual discussions and in Member’s meetings, that the Four Quarters community has many talented people in it that have something to share. You may not be thinking about economic decline and diminished opportunities globally. However, soon you may be thinking more locally, more communally. Think about skills you would like to learn, and skills you would like to share.  The “back to basics” approach is a good idea when you find yourself needing to de-commodify your life and cut costs.

Gardening, building, making clothing, cooking from scratch, water conservation and energy generation are all important topics that people want to know about. These are skills that our community as a whole can benefit from.  Do you know how to do these things?  Would you be willing to teach others? Do you want to learn? If so, I encourage you to speak out.  Four Quarters has several events on its calendar and we are looking for workshops, talks, and/or roundtable discussions on topics where we can help each other. These could be topics tailored to rural or urban settings, or perhaps they could apply to both.  We can be our own best teachers, and develop networks of individuals that can help each other out wherever they may live.

Helping each other will strengthen us all, and I look forward to learning from you.