Welcome To The Neighborhood

October 25, 2014  •  2 Comments

The gravel path is lined with sand dunes – bumps of sand covered in tall skinny grass. I am comforted to know the ocean is just on the other side of the dunes. I can’t see it but I can surely hear it.  At times I hear a thud like that of a bass drum as a wave crashes on the rocks.   After an hour of walking I meet only one other person and on my way back the sun sets on the horizon before me.  I can see silhouettes of surfers making their way on the boardwalk.  There is a slight cool breeze and through the sun’s rays I see the salt spray being pushed by the wind and by the force of the surf, up over the dunes.  This is my neighborhood. Welcome.

In the past few weeks I have heard the words “Welcome to the neighborhood” more times than I ever heard them in the 17 years I lived in an apartment in the city.  I saw people every time I stepped out of my apartment door and only rarely were words exchanged.  If they were they were a brief hello in the hall or a “have a good day” as someone stepped off the elevator.  I didn’t know the people that lived across the hall or beside me. The change over of neighbors was so rapid, there wasn't always a chance to get to know one another.  I often thought of my neighbors as an inconvenience actually, wondering when they might move on to the next apartment building so I wouldn’t hear their balcony conversations. There just never seemed to be enough space between us.  In rural Nova Scotia though, space is not a luxury item. There is space for me, my neighbors, and the nature that surround us all. 

In the 17 years I lived in close quarters with my neighbors in the city, I felt such a sense of things being temporary, knowing that my apartment neighbors would uproot at any time.  Now, I feel a sense of permanency. I have a desire to grow deep roots in my new community, and grow old along the shore.  

I was meant to live not only rurally, but specifically, in a quaint rural community by the sea. I am being reminded on a daily basis now just how much the salt water is part of my make-up - part of who I am at my core. So too is rural life. I grew up rurally and I understand rural living. I appreciate the culture of a small community.  I am even enjoying the commute to work in the city, and I consider nothing about rural life to be an inconvenience.  The pay-off is too high.

In the past I felt out of sorts in the city – like there wasn’t a place for me.  I wanted to be involved in a community but always felt like the community was so much bigger than myself – and I really never found my place.  Many people live, and love living, in the city, and those people feel a part of something special – I appreciate what those people have discovered – but the city life is not for me.

As I settle into my new neighborhood I am eager to explore it, and to get involved in it.  I can’t wait to volunteer with the local market and community centers, and I am enjoying contributing to small locally run businesses and getting to know my neighbors.  Especially these guys……

 

As I end this post I am eager to head out to continue to explore my new neighborhood.  The sea is calling me, and it is welcoming me home.


Comments

2.Wanda(non-registered)
Beautifully written as always. Wonderful that you feeling at home and establishing roots in your new community. I hope they all know how lucky they are to have you! xx
1.Clark MacKay(non-registered)
I cannot believe that it was just yesterday as I drove past your old neighbourhood on my way home that I thought of you. I was thinking, I will have to call her at work to find out what happened and how the move to the new home is progressing. Then, lo and behold you are there in the form of your recent post. It gave me such a feeling of warmth to share your joy and the pleasure that comes with finding oneself home, physically in the setting you now choose to live and spiritually in the sense of community and groundness that forms the essence of your new community. I am so happy for you and as always you are an inspiration and torchlight that leads the way for many of us who still struggle to find our own way home.
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