there was really something lacking in my life back home in canada. and i probably wouldn’t have been able to identify it specifically, but i might have been able to tell you the “feeling” that i wanted to experience. it was a feeling i hadn’t really had before but had been looking for my whole life. and that feeling was community.

i have lived in big cities my entire life. and not on the outskirts or in the burbs, like right downtown. i lived a couple of blocks from the downtown core, and although there are many advantages to that, like being able to decide you want to go to a movie 15 minutes before it starts, or eating ethiopian, indian or thai and being able to stumble out your front door and come upon each of them within a few blocks, there was something missing. it was mysterious because i knew it existed, but had never experienced it. i knew i would like it, if only i could find it.

in the building where i lived we had it a little bit. i lived in a co-op, so most people knew each other. we had meetings, did chores and had lots of opportunities to meet up so that you could at least identify your neighbour and say hello. in my particular building most of the residents were over 50 and a little grumpy, so hello is about as far as you would want to take it, but there were a few exceptions (tony and bob, you rule!!!).

so when i left it was for a lot of reasons, but this one was in there, buried deep in my psyche. i wanted community. i wanted to live in a place where you can go out and be getting groceries or taking the dog for a walk and you see people, and they smile. they even say hello! and sometimes, they stop and chat. that happens here and it is so nice. there is a really good group of people living here. they do wonderful things for the local community here, and they do wonderful things for each other. whenever someone starts a new business, or opens a new restaurant, or has an event, everyone rally’s around and goes out to support it. when someone needs help, there is help offered. it is a wonderful thing.

it might sound silly, but it really makes my heart happy knowing that i am now a part of this community. It is something that I have always wanted, even though I might not have been able to identify what it was. It is wonderful to feel like you are part of something good and that you can care about people and that they care about you. I think this is something that is really lost when we live in big cities, so I am so glad to get back to the real. Oh wait, I have never even waded into the real before now. Feels good. Not too cold, just right.