Teague (right) attended college in my small hometown.

Back from the Berklee Gracenotes journey to Santa Fe for week or so, we’ve had some time to reflect on our experiences there. One, among many, values reinforced through our work there is the cultivation of community, with clear reminders that the distance that separates humans in this country (and beyond) is much less than the miles of physical space.  In this modern world, it is easier than ever to collaborate with those all over the world to build positive energy and put it to a meaningful result.

We flew thousands of miles and traveled many hours, simply to end up with the serendipitous opportunity to work with a crew including a recent college graduate who attended school in my small hometown outside of Boston.

We worked on the home and reminisced about all the townie activities and hang spots back home. The Berklee crew all learned valuable lessons in home building along the way and made some real progress to further Habitat’s mission of affordable housing and community building.  Through the experience, the world shrunk down, common ground built upon. We broke bread with the future homeowners and met them at a personal level, putting shape to their future homes, side-by-side.  We worked on two homes, but these stood surrounded by numerous other projects, some curated by Habitat, and some not, letting you see how your work integrates into the greater community of Santa Fe. And of course, throughout the trip we were able to see all the city and natural spaces had to offer, gaining a better sense of the community we were helping to enhance.

The vastness of New Mexico and the endless stretches of mountains and little settled land seemed overwhelming and expansive at first, but by the end of the trip, I found it gaining a sense of familiarity. Meeting all the people we met and experiencing the art and culture of a place really serves to foster a sense of oneness with the world. I look forward to seeing the site again some day.

Nathan Goldstein
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