The Turquoise Table
Lately, I have been combing the interwebs for thoughts and ideas about building “community” in our neighborhoods and churches. To be honest, I have found surprisingly little written on the subject. Or maybe it’s not so surprising, given the tech-obsessed, virtually-connected, hyper-divisive, cultural moment we are living in. Considering the slim pickings on the notion of community, I was pleased to learn about Kristin Schell’s new book, The Turquoise Table. Last week I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy prior to the release date. I have spent the last week flipping through and reading passages from this beautiful book.
A Simple Idea
The idea behind The Turquoise Table is to create a greater sense of community and neighborliness by being more visible in your neighborhood. As she puts it, becoming “Front-Yard People.” It started with a simple picnic table from Lowe’s that she felt called to paint turquoise and put in her front yard. Here’s a sweet little video about her journey.
Prior to last week I did not know about Kristen, although we live in the same city. And I had never heard to the “Turquoise Table” movement, and don’t think I have ever seen one in the wild. But I am oddly intrigued by the idea, and have spent a lot of time thinking about it. Is the idea a turquoise table in a front yard just gimmick, a hook intended to sell books (or tables?) Or is it possible that an idea this simple really can make a difference and could draw people together in places they already are. A good friend of mine recently moved into our neighborhood, and has frequently remarked that she loves working in her front garden beds because she meets – and actually talks to – so many people while she is out there. Despite the fact that my family (and her parents), have lived in our little neighborhood for nearly 20 years and she has been here less than I a year, I’m pretty sure she knows more neighbors than I do.
My Own Turquoise Table?
Some of my favorite conversations and biggest laughs have occurred around picnic tables, with moms hanging out at park-day or in the twilight hours of backyard barbecues. I have actually thought about ordering a table and placing it in our front yard, but I can’t decide. To be on-trend, I might even painting it turquoise. When I mentioned it to my husband, despite chronic skepticism and concerns over something else to mow around, he had no objections. I can see hanging out there with a cup of coffee, doing schoolwork on a cool morning, or even just using hanging out while we wait for Grandma and Grandpa to come visit. And if someone stops by to say “Hi” while we’re hanging out at our turquoise table, that would be pretty cool.
I’ll let you know what I decide.
Would you ever put a turquoise table in your front yard?
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