Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Community vs. Home

I've been struggling with a post, which keeps becoming longer and more complicated than I'd like.

Here is the essence: Which is more important community or home?

Here's what I mean: our current first pick locale leads in part because of the prospect to become part of the local Jewish community there. I've never been an active member of a synagogue before. But I'd like to pass along to my boys a sense of my heritage, which in today's America seems impossible without such a connection. (When public schools send children home with countdown chains for Christmas, teach them to sing "the Lord is come" in the winter pageant, have them write letters to Santa, and insist that Christmas is a secular holiday, how is a child not to become confused?)

But I fear we may be forced to choose between being near such a community or finding a place that satisfies our housing requirements. Which is more important? If I'm to be working at home, and Rocket has no work outside the house for a time, that leads me to think those requirements are more stringent.

Community is hypothetical, potential. A home is where we'll spend our lives, but for the few spare hours each day or week that we go elsewhere. The point is, doesn't it seem where and how we spend most of our time should weigh most heavily on our decisions?

If the choice is between being near a possible community and having a home that fulfills our expectations (sufficient land for a garden and running around space for the boys, a sizable kitchen, space enough for a reasonable home office, and costs that allow us to survive for 2-3 years), I think I lean toward the latter.

Assuming I succeed in turning these ideas into self-sustaining support, we can always move nearer to community then, eh?

1 comment:

Lilian said...

Hmmm, having lived away from my own country and any "community" friends that might be available, I say that you should prioritize the house and, if necessary, drive for a while to reach the community.

We drive almost an hour into Philly every week to go to a Brazilian church and although we don't live close to our friends there, we can still belong to the community. There was a time when we lived in Western MA when almost every Saturday afternoon we'd drive for 2.5 hours to be with a community of friends.

An acceptable house should be your priority, I think, even if it's not in the location you wanted.