The Feeling of Community
For all of us who are familiar with the shared community spaces in our neighborhoods— like our parks, gardens, and other open areas; we’re brought a certain type of peace that comes from collective togetherness with people who aren’t exactly family or friends. It’s that feeling of watching your kids at the park play with other kids or of joining other parents in cheering your kids on during their soccer game.
It’s the content feeling of peace from community.
But what if this feeling of peace in community can be elevated to the next level to an almost transcendental level? What if it can be strengthened through spaces of collective reflection and community?
Creating Calm Community Spaces
Imagine this— a space out in the open, with greenery all around, in which people of all ages can come together to escape the stressors of modern, everyday life.
Imagine a space where everyone brings a yoga mat or a blanket and joins together in activities like yoga or meditation— taking a breath in and out together, as a community.
RRM Design Group designed such a place at Olympus Park in Encinitas, CA. This incredibly busy neighborhood park contains a little refuge at the top dedicated to reflection, meditation, contemplation, and healing. This quiet space includes a small resilient surfacing pad for yoga-like activity, a pebble walkway serving as a foot reflexology path, a large lawn area beneath purple orchid trees, and a large central granite sphere as a grounding focal piece.
In a world where most of us are jumping from task to task, place to place, and stressor to stressor; it’s important for us to find the time to take a break and remind ourselves of the human connection that stretches beyond our immediate material world.
Taking More Pauses in the Future
It is especially important for us to teach this to our kids. We cannot expect kids to find a passion for stillness on their own. Youtube, video games, and social media are a million times easier and more gratifying. We must teach them to take off their shoes, feel the ground, and pause—and hopefully, they will take these childhood experiences and continue the habit into their adulthood.
Creating community spaces designated for quiet contemplation and breathing, and participating with one another in group breathing, meditation, and yoga exercises can be a cathartic release from the routines that oftentimes leave us out of breath.
Let’s add more activities of this collective nature into our public spaces, encouraging our contemplative side and strengthening our community bonds and love for one another.