Barn Raising

As a self proclaimed book nerd, who read all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, it is no surprise to me that the term “barn raising” came to mind amidst my family’s latest move.

A barn raising, also historically called a raising bee or rearing in the U.K., is a collective action of a community, in which a barn for one of the members is built or rebuilt collectively by members of the community.

While my friends didn’t erect a barn in here in SoCal, they did come together like a hive and help my family in every step of our move-from the packing, to the painting, to the move itself, and the shuffling of things since-they have been here-as my family embarks on a new journey as home owners.

To date, this is the smoothest move we have ever experienced, and I don’t think it is simply because it was across the street. I believe that the power of my community made it so. My people embody great talents, from being a master packer, having only done DITY moves with the Navy, to an expert painter, who watched with curious eyes as professionals painted her own house, to being straight muscle for the many, many belongings we possess, my tribe showed up.

The best part is they showed up with their kids in tow. Every. Single. One of my friends showed up at various points during the move process with their kids. And the kids helped; either by entertaining themselves with new to them toys, or by packing and shuffling our belongings across the street. To me this speaks highly of the tribe I have. They are not only giving of themselves and their time, but they are teaching their kids that the way to have friends is to be a friend-to show up even for the not so fun stuff like packing and moving.

Back to barn raising; I love the first part of its definition, “a collective action of a community.” I can see why people used to call it a raising bee. For me the definition evokes a picture a busy beehive, every bee doing a job to take care of the hive. In my world it looks like this: people who swarm around when something needs to get done.

Thank you. I am forever grateful.


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