The Importance of Community. - The Magic Onions

The Importance of Community.

Living simply in a city is not always easy. We live in Long Beach which is a city in the heart of the Los Angeles/San Diego metropolis. Living simply is certainly not the default way city people go about their lives. In this concrete jungle we often have to re-evaluate the way we do things and reaffirm our desire for a calm and peaceful lifestyle. Needing to live simply is probably one of our strongest draws to a Waldorf inspired life. I would expect that it’s easier to find pleasure in the simple things when you are surrounded by wide open farmland and clean air. Here, we have to work on being simple… we have to consciously turn away from a hectic and over-scheduled city life. We have to make an effort to find ourselves in nature… we can’t just go for a walk and feel the freedom of the woods… we are surrounded by city block after city block of sidewalk and manicured lawns. That’s not to say that there’s no nature here… oh, there is! We delight in Nature daily. We often find a new mushroom growing in a magical mossy spot and notice how dewdrops sparkle like diamonds in the rays of the morning sun. We have had sparrow chicks hatch on our own porch and we have a wild squirrel who jumps onto our laps to gently collect nuts from our own hands. But all these things we have had to cultivate. And, most importantly, we have had to notice them. ‘Notice them?’ you might ask… ‘how can you not notice a squirrel in your tree?’ But when you are rushing to get get your kids to school on time, when you are in a hurry to pick them up to take them to soccer practice and from there to Judo and from there to Art and from there to gymnastics and from there, home to do homework, taking the time to care that there’s a squirrel in your tree is not a priority. We have consciously decided that noticing the squirrel IS, indeed, a priority.

I often feel that trying to live simply in a city is like walking uphill against the parade… everyone else is going somewhere different and they are all walking with such conviction in their steps. Sometimes I feel scared that we have chosen to live against the flow… I wonder if taking our children out of the rat race is really the right thing to do. And, it can be lonely too… if everyone is rushing off to soccer and judo and gymnastics, who is there left to play with us?

Luckily for us, our Waldorf School community is a strong and like-minded group in this crazy, busy, city. For our own reasons, in our own ways, we are all trying to live simply, to slow the pace, to breath in the little things and live in the moment, knowing that the squirrel IS important.  I feel so lucky to have found like-minded people to walk uphill with and, to any of you who might read this, and to any community of people out there who are also following their hearts although everyone else is floating past, fast, I thank you for helping make my family’s journey a little easier.

I would like to take this opportunity to share our Waldorf Schools upcoming events. Maple Village has been a ray of sunshine in our lives and if you are in our area and would like to learn more about our school, you will be welcomed with open arms. Please also pass this information on to anyone you know who might like to join us too.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need a friendly face in the crowd :-)
Blessings and magic,

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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. Oh! Lovely post Mama! I am in awe of how much you do strive to keep it “simple”. We’re just going to run away…. Ha Ha!
    So excited to see how Maple Village is growing!!

  2. My dear, I’ll give you Versatile Blogger Award, because I have a great respect for your work. You can check it out at

  3. You should check out this website. I’m super excited about it lately and its great for city living and sharing with neighbors. I’m starting a group at my church.

  4. What a lovely post!, I found your website by chance and I find it very inspirational. My family and I live in Burbank and we also choose to slow down and notice the squirrel and all the other lovely visitors that come to visit our little back yard. Enjoy the first signs of spring. Esther

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