Reimagine My Community

Grow Community – 1


Principles, like those we find in nature, gardens and vineyards, govern Community Growth.



Community doesn’t work well without good soil.

We aren’t talking about the Earth’s soil underneath our feet. Good soil and good agriculture is a given.

Instead, we are talking about the soil in participants’ hearts. Here, we use soil in a positive sense. We don’t mean “dirty hearts.” But we can deprive soil of nutrients—just like hearts. Artificial “fertilizers” in the soil are devoid of many important nutrients. Humanity, and Communities, lack when propped up by artificial means.

Soil must carry an inventory, or storehouse of nutrients to help plants. It must be capable of providing micronutrients and storing and carrying water. Natural aeration (e.g., worms) provide oxygen to root structures.

Clays are often incapable of permitting the passage of water. Parched ground cannot readily receive rainwater—it runs off. Compacted soils can restrict natural root growth.

Discuss within your team what it means to have good soil to provide benefits to others.

After some pacing about for which image to place here, the contrasting opposites below seemed about right. When good soil, water and nutrients come together, the results are plain to see.


Many Western societies are starving despite obesity.

The problem is with the type of foods common in Western culture. They fill a person up (often with sugars, starches, chemicals and fillers). The body needs quality nutrients.

Community—in like manner—needs quality nutrients.

During Re-imagination of your Community and Vision, have you thought about culture and life-inspiring activities? Exercise? Sports?

Date night settings? Places to walk? Water features or ponds to visit? Hiking trails? Outdoor gazebos? Places to sit for personal “me-time” or meditation and prayer? Places for small groups to gather on a walk and share a cup of coffee or tea?

Flower gardens? Places for Community gardens? Food storage perhaps (see Soil)? Places to share a meal together? Music?

What nutrients need to be Reimagined for your Community?

Skip the counterfeits of artificial nutrients. You will be glad you have the real deal.


Healthy and Growing Communities need water.

Besides water to sustain physical life and grow crops, we need “water” to sustain each one of us as individuals and as a Community.

Many today lack social interaction opportunities or “connection.” Friends, fellowship, my-own-tribe, my-gang-of-friends, people-we-hang-out-with. There are many labels.

The pandemic has only run a highlighter through this basic human need. Social distancing and isolation are not even close to being a natural state of being for humanity. A lack of connection can destroy a person. Witness the impacts of solitary confinement upon prisoners, isolated seniors in less-than-stellar “care homes” or those lacking friends and human one-on-one.

There is something very beneficial to each one of us that occurs through social interaction. A lack of it only increases health care costs, diminishes life expectancy, and increases stress and crippling forms of loneliness.

It is like a water, a stream, that flows to one another.

Have you Re-imagined your Community with concepts like this in mind?

Or is it more like a desert?

Even children know streams represent life. Little paper ships that invite times of wonder and play. They know without being told.

Warmth (Sun)

Oooh … the cold shoulder.

Awww … like, really … he (or she) is sooo hard to talk to. So many walls. It’s just the same old small talk …

Just as we need the warmth of the sun, warm people warm us. It is good to “give warmth” to others.

Some individuals, through upbringing, trauma, fear, conditioning, or choices, lack warmth. Stiff-upper-lip. Stoic. Don’t smile. We aren’t talking about situations where extra discretion is important.

When you Re-imagine a Community—your Community—how will you set the tone for this? Will you only paint all your walls builder-boring-beige with battleship-grey tiles? Will you become “institutional”? Or will you add some zest to your designs? How about circles instead of squares and straight lines? Will an eating place lack ambience (please, even some quiet background music would help this rather boring setting …)?

Will you choose to smile at others? Or will you follow some fictitious moral code that places hyper-boundaries and fences all around you?

When in doubt, ask a playful puppy. They know to dance and play. Even when their hairdo is all messed up from a playful romp in the lake.

They know what to do without a college course in human relationships.

Pruning and Thinning

Every one of us needs pruning and thinning.

Trees and vines must “grimace” when we trim their limbs. Whether they grimace—or do not—is debatable; the fact remains that we all need pruning and thinning to be healthy.

That’s never fun.

But, like in a garden, orchard or vineyard, you will end up with a better harvest. Better quality fruit. Less chance for unhealthy fruit and a gazillion bugs and critters.

And if you need pruning and thinning, will you become offended when others confront you? Will you close the door to your room and hide?

People in your Community need you. You are an essential spice in the kitchen of life.

Keep your spices fresh. Be aromatic to others.


Unwanted but Expected

We expect certain types of unwanted visitors in our gardens.

A healthy garden can help reduce intrusion by pests. Weeds have a way, it seems, of sneaking into gardens.

This topic has broad application within a Community vision. We can expect a certain amount of “maintenance” and we should accommodate that in our Community vision and plans.

“Maintenance” goes beyond the sprinklers and weeding. Discuss how you will navigate the waters of difficult personalities. But look first in the mirror! We all have “stuff.”

When reimagination works in your hearts and minds, you are better equipped to define a clear vision.

“Foggy” Reimagination creates a “foggy” Vision. That serves no one well. Your team is often quite capable of sensing the “fog.” They will have difficulty moving in a direction when there is too much fog surrounding the Vision.

Have you supplied enough clarity, enough light amid the mists, to guide your team and encourage them to follow the Reimagined Community Vision?

Individuals that know how to foresee problems and maintenance or other operational matters need this clarity. They are better equipped to help plan when you are clear.

It’s not just about vision clarity for architecture and design. It is also about the extended planning as the vision is “operationalized.”

Often, planning for growth requires attention to several details. But the “devil is in the details.” We do ourselves a favor by not skipping the details. We do ourselves a disservice by an excess focus on details.

Visitors at Midnight

Then there are the Midnight Garden Visitors.…

And you left the steak on the patio table when you went to the rest room or danced under the stars at that fancy French restaurant.

P.D. Booking for Canine 230573 is Guilty as Charged: busted, and here is his booking shot!

Reg Roco’s cousin from the wrong side of the tracks has been in the herb garden before. We caught both at midnight.

They are in cahoots—partners in crime. It’s obvious.

Notice how these two share a common guilty look. You can see it in their eyes. Caught in the very act, no less.

What kind of Midnight Visitors might visit your Reimagined Community? 4-footed? 2-footed? Winged? Natural or unnatural? Harmful or helpful?

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Grow – 2

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