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Community after the Flame



  1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

  2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.



I was watching my son work on a puzzle when the texts started coming in about the fires in Fort McMurray. The larger stories soon began to flood the tv and my phone in real time through the first person lens of the evacuees iPhones. Tears welled up as the ‘too close for comfort’ feeling awoke inside my chest as we watched and listened to the panic in the voices, the eyes full of fear and the desperate need for safety. This didn’t feel like a million miles away, it felt like it was happening to all of us and we could almost taste the flames.

Then, as if the best of mankind herself showed up in human form, there they were….human angels doing whatever they could, wherever they could, for however long they could. We watched as people brought food, gas, water, comfort, words of encouragement and anything else big or small to offer along Hwy 63.

Down the road, our local churches found space for refuge, our Red Cross exemplified humanitarian conduct and our empty pockets found just a little to pass along to our friends in need. And when we ourselves couldn’t physically help, we watched our phones, listened to our radios and found our knees to be in ‘step’ with our friends.

It takes great courage to watch from the outside when others hurt, and step just enough inside the space of need, to be of service. It is an art that is called, community.  An intrinsic, ‘calling’ that keeps all in better shape than we were before. It reminds us that we are all part of the higher purpose, to care for each other and ourselves in whatever way we possibly can.

What are the key foundations of Community? Founder and CEO of CMX, David Spinks says the foundations can be found in; Membership, Influence, Integration and Fulfillment of Needs and Shared Emotional Needs.  I like these concepts and the reasons that he picks these specifically.

Here in short is how he specifically breaks down each area,


Membership is the feeling of belonging or of sharing a sense of personal relatedness.


Create an environment in your community where members feel like they have a say in what happens.

Integration and Fulfillment of Needs

This essentially means that by joining a community a member gets what they hoped to get by joining. Members need to feel rewarded in some way for their participation in the community in order to continue to contribute.

Shared Emotional Connection

All healthy communities have a story.  Members will have a history of experiences together and the belief that there will be more experiences together in the future.

~David Spinks.

I hope each of our lives has its own community that we have created. Perhaps it is a group of good girlfriends, a tight family unit, a church group, a sports team, a hiking group, a friend we meet for coffee, etc.  It doesn’t really matter what the activity is or how many join together, it is creating that essential connection to our fellow humans in as many ways as we can, that is important.

Let us not be afraid or uncomfortable to be interpersonal beings who link to each other in many different uncommon ways.  Then, when we need each other the most, like with the wildfires in Fort McMurray, we will naturally link together as a community.

The Massage for Health Clinic in Calgary SE supports our Alberta Community and we stand together with our neighbors. #albertastrong.

Rose Kennedy once said, “Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?”

Massage for Health Clinic, Calgary SE, 403-225-0763




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