Not Perfect, but Ours!

By: Emma Johnston

It doesn’t take a genius to identify the cons of living in a village.
From the lack of 24 hour take out, to the ugly overhead wires that crisscross our streets, to the lightning speed of our gossip train, we are all aware that living in a village has some drawbacks.
Yet, despite those things that make rural living less than ideal, there is no denying the support, comradery and togetherness small town dwelling can offer.
Rural living in South Western Ontario, by default, gives you a relatively small circle of people to share life with. The same parents who are standing to pick up their kids from the school, are likely the same parents at the Dance Studio or Arena or ball diamond. Those people in line at the grocery store are probably on your curling team or attend your church or do Yoga with you on Thursday nights. Your neighbours probably went to the Fair with you, sold you their tea cups on Garage Sale day or popped into your house to turn off your curling iron when you’d frantically called them from work last week.
Though these smallish circles may seem like a downside to some, more often than not, I look on the people of this little village and I’m fundamentally grateful!
In a small town we watch each other’s back. When a safety concern is raised or something seems not quite right, we check in with each other, call each other, watch for each other’s children as they arrive at the school yard. We want to be safe, so we work together to keep our neighbours safe as well.
In a small town, when someone’s sick we rally around them, we make them muffins and shovel their driveways and nip into town to buy them milk. We don’t typically send ‘thoughts and prayers’ we DO something to help. In a small town, the people are your people, so we work hard to take care of one another.
In a small town, we drink our coffee and talk personally with the owners of the bakery where we buy our morning muffin. We take our car to get fixed from the people that we went to high school with. We get our hair cut, our lumber ordered and our funerals performed by people we know personally.
In a small town we watch each other’s children. We share our weed eaters, buy each other’s art and rescue each other’s cat’s when they’ve gone wandering.
Small towns aren’t perfect. They aren’t wildly diverse, we don’t have a ski hill or an athletics centre or anywhere to buy sushi. But we have each other’s backs. We have built in friends, caring neighbours and people we can call on in times of need.
Our little village isn’t perfect, but the people we share it with, well, that’s what makes it ours!

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