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: