Recently I invited a new friend for tea on my front porch. I had worked with her on a project several years ago and enjoyed the collaboration. More recently she attended a workshop I did on self-care (via Zoom). I was again reminded how delightful she is and so I invited her over to get to know her better. I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Made me want to do it again.
And then I started thinking…I have so many amazing women in my life: some I see weekly (dance class), some I see monthly (book club), some I haven’t seen in a really long time. But I’d like to get to know each one better.
Now is the perfect time. To a large extent, we’re home – whether working or not, we’re probably still doing it from home.
I sent an email to about twenty-five women. The only thing all of them had in common was my desire to get to know each one better. I told them I would be on my front porch at this same time every week for ninety minutes (for the foreseeable future). I told them if they couldn’t join me this month, to pencil it in their calendar – even if they did it weeks away.
I knew I was taking a chance. I knew it was possible that I could be sitting on my porch alone. And I did, in week two. But my porch is a pleasant place to be and with a book, I was happy to indulge my guilty pleasure. I knew not to take it personally. People are busy.
I’ve been doing it for five weeks now and it is exactly as I envisioned it: fabulous women meeting fabulous women. Many weeks there have been four or five of us and for the most part, they are meeting for the first time. I love finding the commonalities and the four degrees of separation. It is a small world. I love hearing the stories and I love connecting people. (Everyone comes and goes according to her own schedule. When the third one arrives, we relocate to my backyard where we can spread out appropriately.)
Last week only one woman showed up and it was lovely to get to know her better.
Don’t have a front porch? Or a backyard? What about a local park? Not quite the same as being physically together – but what about Zoom? The idea here is camaraderie. Finding your tribe. Building your tribe. Connecting.
It seems like a lifetime ago that I attended my first Le Diner en Blanc, but that’s exactly what Francois Pasquier did in 1988. He invited a handful of friends to join him in a local park in Paris – each bringing their own dinner. That initial event has grown and spread around the world. (The 30th anniversary of the event in Paris drew a record 17,000 people.)
You never know where your gathering will lead or what connections will be made that will lead to the world being a better place because two people that you know met at a gathering on your porch. All because you were willing to put yourself out there and give it space to happen.
I look forward to my weekly time on the porch – and it’s even better when it’s shared.
Inspired to start your own? What will it look like? Where will it be? When will you start? I’d love to know your thoughts.