For the greater part of my life I have lived in a small town. I branched out into the bustling metropolis for a few years to attend college but the pull of our tight-knit community was too strong to ignore and I came home. Much to the chagrin of my city dwelling friends, I have never regretted that decision.
There is something comforting about seeing the same people on a day-to-day basis. It may feel a little too close for comfort at times when they know more about your life than you do but it has become the safety blanket of my existence. The community that began as a collection of strangers rapidly transformed into an extended family and I take solace in the fact that I could knock on any door and receive the same warm welcome from any one of them.
The milk of human kindness flows more freely in a small town – at least that has been my experience. And in the summer of 2013 that lesson was inked into my skin in colors more vivid than any tattoo. My mother had a slight episode while on her scooter as she was making her way home from her shopping excursion. Her dog had broken free from her collar and, in the chaos that ensued, my mother had toppled from her scooter and lay on her back on the pavement. As fate would have it I was driving through town just as the mishap occurred and I was able to pull over and help.
In the time it took for me to pull over, a handful of people were already either assisting my mother or madly looking for the frenzied dog that was dodging parked cars and moving vehicles. It was controlled chaos but in the end my mom was fine and the dog was recovered without incident.
There is an overwhelmingly consolatory feeling knowing that if I had not been there my mother would have been just as vigilantly attended to and things would have still ended well. Knowing that the milk of human kindness flows freely through the veins of my community makes me glad that I made the decision to carve my life into the growing trunk of the tree in this rural atmosphere.
There may be moments of my life that I will look back on with regret but choosing to live my life in this town and the community of people I share it with is not one of them.
My only wish, especially now, is that the kindness we experience here could be broadcast on a much grander level. Whatever happens in this world, we must not let the anger and hatred of the few be able to quell the kindness that resides in the many. Fight hate with love and keep your hearts open. The more we hate, the more they win.
Wise words 🙂
Thank you. 🙂
I’m glad your mom was okay and that you are pleased with where you live. Smaller towns have a feel that I haven’t found in the big city. I lived in the same house in a big city for 16 years. It’s sad, but one neighbor had been there just as long but I never met them until the house went up for sale. I’m in a smaller town now and I know so many neighbors here. It’s nice.
That happened a while before she passed but I was amazed watching so many people run to help. I’m glad you’re enjoying the small town comforts.
I think the incident with your mom would’ve played out similarly in a lot of places, I’m pleased to say. Every community has kind-hearted, helpful souls who wouldn’t hesitate to stop for a person in need. News reports might emphasize the ugliness of human nature, but that’s because ugliness is an aberration.
Thank you for pointing that out. Sometimes my small town opinion seems like I am casting a shadow on larger cities. I just don’t have the city experience to corroborate but I still do have faith that good shall always outweigh evil. We just have to put our faith in the fact that it still holds the power to do just that.
Thanks for this lovely piece. I have often wondered if I would like to live in a rural setting. In my fantasy romance-loving side I can see it plainly. Though in those images I am dressed in 1800s garb riding a horse with wild winds blowing through my untamed tresses as I seek my long lost love…..sorry, back to now. I love the feel of your home town and how you speak of it. I was born and raised in a city (though a smaller one) and have always lived in a city, so I’m not sure a country life is in my destiny. That aside, may I say that we are – those of us who know this truth about the goodness of the majority – must and will continue to have faith in each other, and it’s nice to be reminded and to have solidarity as we live and breathe our daily lives. Thanks for the reminder.
Thanks so much for the lovely and thoughtful comment. 🙂
“The more we hate, the more they win” – so very true xxxx
Very sad…yet so very true. xxxx