It’s gorgeous here in the Summer. You can’t help but feel drawn to the wide-openness of the land. When the sun shines, and I take a walk or drive to the neighboring town, being out in it brings me a sense of freedom. I’ve come to love that feeling. Holding my cup of tea, I enjoy looking at my little slice of heaven through my kitchen window every day.
This year will mark 18 years living in Small Town, USA. The attractiveness of the land is what has kept me here. I enjoy it. On good days, I always stroll around my neighborhood to get some fresh air and sun. I appreciate the peace of my small town and the smell of the fresh wind.
The people and their politics, not so much. I get it. Red state, red town. It’s only about 900 people who live here. And if they could stay living in the 1800s, I think they would prefer that.
I won’t lie, intermingling hasn’t gotten any more comfortable in the years since our family landed. The closed-mindedness I experience on an almost daily basis is choking most of my goodwill. The longer I’m a resident, the harder I bite my tongue – most times. Recently, though, I just had to trounce a few ill-conceived thoughts escaping out of the mouths of my neighbors. If only they would have kept them shut. It didn’t end well. I wasn’t what you would call being very neighborly.
I know things, and people change eventually, but in our little town, I think it will be later rather than sooner. I understand that it’s a lot asking them to step out of their comfort zone, or even into a headspace of progressive thinking. Sure wish they would, though. It would make living here almost perfect.
Sometimes kids are out playing in the park. Today there was a group of young boys maybe 14-15 years old out dribbling balls on the basketball court. The very first thought in my head – most likely, this is the next generation of Trump supporters. My happy brain pauses slightly, feeling surrounded by ignorance again. I forcefully shake it off me and intentionally focus on immersing myself in the wind and sun.
Life continues, and I keep walking as far away as I can get.