Andru McCracken, EDITOR
Do you find yourself savouring brief interactions in a parking lot when three people meet and gab just like the old times?
Honestly it’s invigorating. Just to hear different voices, different points of view, seeing different faces.
People are good. It’s nice to occasionally hang out with them.
It’s funny when we argue and fight because we are about 99.9% the same. Don’t murder. Don’t steal. Eat a few times a day. Try to be polite. Use your turn signal. Help others. Donate to local sports groups. If you tallied up all the similarities between us you’ll spend a while at it.
The gift of living in a small place is that we are constantly reminded of our similarities. In a city there are two kinds of people—known and unknown.
Villages on the other hand are a Möbius strip. Everyone lives on the same side. Some right next to you, others a little further away, but each and everyone on the same side.
Möbius strips are cool. If you want one, just cut a strip of paper and tape the ends together… oops, that’s a cylinder… give the strip of paper a half twist and then tape the ends together. That’s a Möbius strip.
It’s only got one side and one edge, but don’t let that dampen your enjoyment of it. Even though it has fewer sides and fewer edges than a simple strip of paper, it’s infinitely more enjoyable.
Living on the Möbius strip allows us to live fuller, better lives, because we know people who aren’t exactly like us, people who have different opinions and different attitudes outside the 99.9% we all agree on. We interact with each other, learn from each other and enjoy each other’s company, even though there exists some minutiae about which we disagree. These trifling differences, political and cultural, make our rural landscapes rich and worthwhile. There are landscapes where people spend their day trying to be carbon copies of each other, and when they fail there are huge consequences.
Online, people are obsessed with ‘outing’ each other as communists or Fascists. But in community, we know people have different opinions and we tolerate it and sometimes cherish it.
But this pandemic has really put a damper on all our community fun. We just don’t get together like we used to, for very good reasons, of course, but when we get through this thing I think we should be more intentional than ever about getting together.
This year we missed a tonne of really important events. Pioneer Days, Valemountain Days, the Ice Cream Social, the Robson Valley Music Festival, plays, music nights at the Legion, the skating carnivals and Christmas concerts not to mention all the tournaments.
So many important events are disguised as fundraisers, but the real reasons we love them are much deeper. They revive old friendships. They get us smiling. They help us connect to each other.
But that’s for later. In the meantime the occasional distanced meeting at a coffee shop is like going to a good concert: you just don’t want it to end.