Journeying Beyond the Ashes

explorations in living more consciously, sustainably and responsibly but most of all intentionally

On My Urban Tribes

It’s one of those weeks where I debate about whether I should post or not. My mother would have turned 62 today except she passed away six years ago on Tuesday. It’s a week that annually finds me in a rather melancholy mood, short on attention, and more introspective than I usually am. It’s a pit of blues that can be all to easy to fall into and not something I am prone to really sharing. This year, I had a realization that snapped me out of that pit.  You see, this week I was introduced to the concept of “Urban Tribalism

“Urban Tribalism is the idea that young people in contemporary culture are replacing the traditional support groups of extended family with tight knit communities of friends.  Rather than relying strictly on the bonds of blood and marriage, young adults create their own modern tribes, which, like traditional tribes, have their own rituals, standards for admittance, and expectations.” – Anie at Morally Responsible

It occurred to me that the community we have been building in York is an Urban Tribe.  That got me thinking, at other times had I had Urban Tribes? I quickly realized I had an Urban Tribe for almost every stage of my life.  Not superficially mind you, these are not casual groups of friends who happened to share the same time/space/interest with me.  These are groups that I could rely on back when they were formed, but they are also the same groups I rely on today.  There’s my childhood circle of friends, we have an unbreakable bond between us all that has truly lasted the test of time.  There’s my fellow missionaries from my three years of mission work – who may be scattered around the world but are always there for you. There’s the Santa Marinella Tribe; we were from multiple continents and the only shared language was foreign to all of us. They taught me the universality of a smile, a shared laugh, and a hug – I would still cross continents to embrace them and hope to do so. This doesn’t even begin to touch on all the other small tribes in my life.  Like most things of which I am apart of – it’s an eclectic bunch if there ever was one.

That hard week six years ago?  I was physically closest to my Santa Marinella Tribe and then to my childhood tribe but you see I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from all of those tribes.  I received so much love from so many places – answering phone calls from states, countries, and continents away. As our Urban Tribe in York grows, I also know I have those other Tribes there still supporting me, still loving me, still willing to help me. So I just want to sat thank you to all my Urban Tribes, large and small, near and far - thank you for always being there for me!

Here are just a few of the folks from some of my Urban Tribes:

Just a fraction of the awesome Santa Marinella Tribe - grazie a Karla per l'uso del tuo foto

Just a fraction of the awesome Santa Marinella Tribe – grazie a Karla per l’uso del tuo foto

Aileen and Cecelia

Aileen and Cecelia aren’t just childhood Tribe members – they’re my non-blood sisters.

Katie, Matt, and baby Matthew (my first tribe nephew)

Katie, Matt, and baby Matthew (my first tribe nephew)

My wonderful women on my wedding day!

My wonderful women on my wedding day!

Joann, Mathie, and Me

Britt and James - awesome members from our York Tribe

Britt and James – awesome members from our York Tribe

Monica - my first non-blood sister.

Monica – my first non-blood sister.

Joseph - who kept me smiling through some rough times.

Joseph – who kept me smiling through some rough times.

Alethea and I in St. Peter's Square

Alethea and I in St. Peter’s Square – oh the good times we had!

Caitlin and I

Caitlin and I – what a great friend and support she has been!

Just a few from the York Tribe!

Just a few from the York Tribe!

Phil and Bones

Phil and Bones

My team from my first year of mission work!

My team from my first year of mission work!

Aren't they a lovely bunch?

Aren’t they a lovely bunch?

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4 thoughts on “On My Urban Tribes

  1. Reblogged this on Stone.Soup.Stories and commented:

    We all have those non-blood families who support us, don’t we. Great reflection on the power of community.

  2. I like this philosophy about friendship in different times of your life. It also reminds me of the song “make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other’s gold.” :)

  3. Pingback: Blue Bag 2.1 and One Year of Blogging | Journeying Beyond the Ashes

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