What does your community, your birthplace or your country, mean to you?
How do you express your own belonging? Do you feel you belong at all?
What is the language of your soul, and how would you like it to be heard?
Where is the homeland of your heart?
This morning Scotland voted ‘No’ to independence, with nearly 85 per cent of eligible voters casting their lot.
In an era where apathy and disillusionment among voters is widespread, the question of independence has sparked passionate debate and purposeful action like no other.
Among the political commentary have been lyrical expressions of belonging, ownership, and what it means to live authentically. Individuals and politicians alike have written and spoken in words close to poetry, describing their personal beliefs about independence. For many, it runs so deep that they feel the very soil of Scotland has grown its people. It is in this soul language that we have seen the unifying effect of community expressed.
The loss of connection from self, and in a wider sense, from community, is one of the root causes of societal sicknesses. Feeling that we not only belong to our community, but that we have authority and autonomy to live within it, is a birthright increasingly denied to many. Witnessing the outpouring of emotion, both for and against Scottish Independence, has shown how deeply felt are the bonds that tie us together.
Community ties are powerful, magical and meaningful. They bring beauty when they are nurtured, but can also inspire violence and hurt when they are not honoured. In communities where individuals do not feel bound to each other in any meaningful way, crimes against each other and their environment soar. Conversely, in even the poorest and most challenged communities if there are strong bonds, people flourish.
Here at Embercombe we draw on the rich history of indigenous populations. We value ceremony, tradition and spirituality. Our community is built upon a core belief that we are all equal, all of intrinsic value, all capable of contributing to the place where we live, work and grow.
We sit in circle every morning to welcome the day. Acknowledging that all members of this community have a voice and a presence that is both welcome and needed. This daily meeting is held no matter the weather, touched by the warmth of the morning sun, or the soft breath of the fire. Our connection to each other and to our land is called to our attention every day, reaffirming that we belong to this place, and we belong to this tribe.
Scotland is a place of extraordinary beauty and wildness. Sun-bleached beaches, wind-worn stone circles and rain-lashed mountains have indeed grown communities who feel deeply rooted in their land. This connection with land, life and love is as old as human society itself, and we celebrate it. We would love to know where home is for you, please share your story of soul (and soil) with us in the comments box below.