Today was the third annual Saddle-up for Paws dinner & auction. It’s a fund raiser for a no-kill animal shelter. Held in the Anthem community center, there was food and drinks and all the other stuff you’d expect. There was a silent auction and when that was done, the DJ played some fun line dancing music (such as the Macarena) and several people danced. The point to all this wasn’t to report on a local event, but to share another aspect of small-town living.
In the crowd I met a next-door neighbor, our leasing agent, and a fellow yogi (though admittedly it took me a moment – you never recognized fellow gym rats in their street clothes). It struck me how peaceful this all was. How cozy. Some would say too cozy, everybody knows everybody and everything. Some friends of ours recently moved from Charlotte, NC because, amongst other things, Charlotte lacked a decent place to buy cannoli. They were big-city folks. Similarly, when some other friends came to visit the house we are building in a new subdivision (at the edge of the desert, twenty-six miles west of their house in the midst of city life), they thought we were nuts (though they loved the house).
Of course it’s all a matter of taste. We used to live just outside of St. Louis. Ironically, we found the size of the population lead to a greater feeling of isolation. The communal nature of a small town is appealing to us. Last night is was a free concert in the park. Hardly unique, after all Central Park in New York has those. But here we escape the traffic jams and mass of humanity you’d find in the Big Apple. I could make similar comments about our Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the Independence Day celebration, Veterans & Memorials Days, etc. And at night, the night sky is silver with stars.
So here we were at a fund raiser, laughing and dancing and getting to know our neighbors. It’s a good thing. And while it’s true that the coziness can lead to a lack of privacy, perhaps the greater intimacy can lead to better morality. Just a thought.