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Spring into Community!

Spring has been wicked crazy in the Philadelphia area with temperatures oscillating between 75F and 23F within one week. Somehow the daffodils seem to be holding up—perhaps better than some of us humans.

I am still ignoring the leaf-litter in my garden. I’ve learned that it offers pollinators a safe harbor until the daytime temperatures remain consistently in the 50s. And since I have this very solid excuse to put off my yard chores, I have a bit more time. 

At this moment, having a little extra time means I’m able to help a friend in the tango community who has suffered a severe stroke. Ignacio S. Ondartz is a recent arrival to Philadelphia and an instructor at the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School.

The timing is doubly difficult because he did not have sufficient time to secure health insurance and was still only covered by traveler’s insurance. He has been in intensive care at Temple Hospital for two weeks now, and a group of us has come together to raise money for medical care and to organize meal deliveries.

The silver lining to this has been the amazing way members of our dance community have responded to this crisis. People have donated time, money, and food to help get Ignacio back on his feet. It will be a journey for him to recover his health, but I have no doubt that we will all keep working together. 

More than ever, I believe that in our uncertain world, we need these kinds of communities to help us through difficult times—communities where friends drop what they’re doing and take care of one another. So that is my wish for all of you.

Leave the gardening chores until later. Spend time with people you care about. Do what you truly enjoy, whether it be pursuing a hobby or volunteering. You might make new friends, and your pollinators will thrive in a messy garden.

If you are moved to help someone in need, please consider supporting our fundraiser for Ignacio. His livelihood is based on dancing, so the need for rehabilitation is great.

And tell us how you build community. There are many ways to do it, and I’d love to hear yours. Thank you!

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