Sunday, May 13, 2007

It takes a village...

I'm a city cat, but one of the most enviable elements of country living is that when people see each other while they are walking or as they pass in their cars, they tend to greet each other in the way that is customary to the local culture. My own experience is from Vermont. In Vermont, if you're on a country road approaching another car, the local custom is a lift of the fingers off the top off the steering wheel as you pass. Its a subtle gesture requiring minimal effort, but the effect warms the heart, and certainly can't help but maintain the foundation of a strong community.

In the city, often we forget to maintain such a basic foundation of community - probably because we feel more anonymous, and the population here is more transient that your typical rural town. While I can understand why the steering wheel wave would grow tiresome on the busy streets of Providence, there's nothing worse than walking by another human (within inches say) without even the most minimal recognition that the other exists. Unfortunately, it happens all the time.

When I ride my bike around town and see other cyclists, I try to at least make eye contact and throw out a nod. Of course, sometimes it's not always returned, but if eye contact is made I feel that there are other people out there and who know I'm out there; and that makes being on bicycle in 2007 America a notch less lonely.

No comments: