Discontentment. Is this an universal human condition? Or do we need a healthy dose of discontentment within us so we can thrive for something bigger and better....so as not to get stale? Most of the time, I am content and happy with where I am, my life, and where it is headed. I don't see the point in dwelling on the things we cannot change...at the moment. I know I am rambling. Sure, I'd like a new kitchen. I'd like a new vehicle. I'd like to go to Italy.
I've lived in this little town in the middle of the Canadian Prairie for the last 20 years. It really wasn't my first choice. If I had my way, I would be sitting by the ocean as my children run through the waves with the dogs and my hair dances in the salty wind. It is ironic though that how much I have come to love this place and how much this place has shaped me.
A while ago, I was playing with my kids at their school park when I noticed a little girl I have not seen. Maya told me she is new. I initiated a friendly small talk and found out that she has moved here after her father's death. A new beginning in a smaller town. I found out she lived just down the street from us. I offered helpfully, "we can walk together part of the way". Not even 10 steps out of the school yard, I saw her mother come running over to us. In a 'small-town" sort of way, I extended my hand hoping to make some eye contact, only to get a look of distrust. They walked away quickly with no hope of friendship in the future.
I realized at that moment how 'small-town' I have become. The little girl's mother saw a 'stranger' in me. THAT stranger--the kind you don't talk to, if you know what I mean. I noticed I do that all the time. I can't seem to help my urge to start small talks with store clerks even when I am in a big city. People always look at me like I have got an extra eye in the middle of my forehead.
But I know we are made to be a community. The walls we put up. Self-defense. Survival. Maybe just so we'd 'fit in'. I know we all yearn to be accepted and to be treated with kindness. I love living in a place where I know my neighbors and I can still borrow a cup of sugar from them. I shovel their sidewalks and they let my dogs out when I am away. The neighbor kids fill my backyard and my kids can walk to the store without fear. People genuinely care and hot meals get delivered to my door when I am sick. I hope we will always believe in the goodness of the human race still. I am okay with being the strange small town lady. Maybe one day I can find a community like that by the ocean.