Its been well over a year of ups and down and countless hours of meetings and work in order to get the Atangard Community Project up and running, but one of the most rewarding things throughout this process, was reading through some of the letters of support we recieved from various people and organizations in the community last week. To hear from successful, legitimate people saying ‘We support this project, and think its a good idea’, was the extra encouragment we needed to boost our hopes and expectations for Mondays Abbotsford council meetings. (This meeting will be determining the fate of the Atangard Community Project, whether the city will approve the proposal or deny it)
This past year I’ve had to learn that through the highs and lows of this project, I can find peace in the consistent cycle of inconsistencies. We’ve talked about the ebb and flow at a lot in our meetings. Feeling like were making progress (a positive meeting or a word of encouragment) and then the low times of wondering if this was it, if all our hopes and hard work have been for nothing. I’ve been learning not to depend on the moments of euphoria, and rather see them as a gift and learning to embrace the raw times. And then to persevering through the challenges and oppositions we faced.
Sometimes I forget what life was like before the project. As I listen to our conversations and watch as all my friends debate world issues and help each other out with development proposals and marketing plans; it strikes me that we’ve experienced a lot of these “highs” together, as well as the “lows”. Its been incredible to watch all my friends work together and in a way, grow up. Especially observing Sophe, who has completely invested her whole self into this project and buryed herself under mountains of paperwork, endless research and hours of meetings. With all the work she has done, it hasn’t been easy watching her disappointments and heart breaks after some of the meetings. While I feel as though we have lost some of our innocence during this process, we have done so with integrity. Tragedy shapes us. It builds our character and our ability to empathize. It can also do the opposite, as Dan shared, it can sometimes cause a state of apathy or a hardened heart towards other people experiences, “I don’t care what you’ve been through, Ive probably been through it to.” Something that excites me about this project is the exposure to other peoples convictions and the potential to partner with them in a shared goal. My hope is that in surrounding ourselves with people who share a common pursuit of community life, we will learn to value each others tragedies and grow together in intimacy as individuals.
What ever the outcome of the meeting tommorrow, I feel that this project has already been a success. Because in and through the evolution of making this dream (ACP) become a reality, using the example Dan gave; from point A. (person holding a rock), to point B. (rock breaking window), we have started to unwrap some of the realities of living this life together. The very thing that can be so easily avoided in this day and age, is relationship. As Dave pointed out, “we can get to the moon but we suck at conflict.” I thought he put it well. And not only relationships in general, but healthy relationships, where people love each other enough to confront and forgive, and adapt and sacrfice for the sake of community.