I'm on my way to London as I write this post. I'm going to observe a KG Hypnobirthing teacher training course as I've been invited to become a trainer on these courses in the future which is very exciting and a great honour.
As it happens the trainers I'm going to observe are the same pair who taught on the teachers' course I did. I hadn't met them till that day but I felt like we should have met before because we had so much in common. I'm really looking forward to spending more time with them over the next few days.
It's important for us to have connections with people - humans are social animals after all. But in our modern western world we are reinventing the way we create and access those connections. Before I boarded the coach this morning I was reading posts on a Facebook group for new mothers and reflecting on how there's always someone available to offer encouragement, or sometimes advice, at all hours. Of course sometimes the advice might be flawed, or contradicted by others and sometimes things get heated. But at the heart of these pages is a desire to reach out and build online communities of people with something in common.
People are still interested in meeting in 'real life' groups too - I get so much from meeting with other midwives passionate about women centred care and love it when I can get to a meeting of the Association of Radical Midwives (ARM) but it's often hard to coordinate with others so our 'on line' communities allow us to connect more frequently if needed.
Many of the women accessing the FB group I mentioned earlier are also finding support at mum & baby groups in children's centres or community centres but obviously value the 'on demand' availability of FB and the fact that if they're up at 4am with an unsettled baby the chances are that somebody else is too!
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that although the way we make and manage our communities or 'tribes' looks very different to the ways our grandmothers did it the connections we make are still as valuable.