Monday, August 27, 2007

Community

When we go "camping", I prefer to do it in "style". :-) I'm afraid I'm not one for "roughing" it in the *wild*. LOL. There's still too much city girl in me for that. I did actually go *real* camping one time when I was about 19 with a group of friends. Sleeping in tents, toilet in the bush, no showers etc and it was enjoyable. But I much prefer the comforts that a caravan park has to offer. Electricity, flushing toilets and warm showers.

My definition of *roughing it* is having to go outside my quarters in order to visit the bathroom. LOL. Actually, I consider myself quite brave that I tolerate (and actually enjoy) that level of discomfort. LOLOL.

I was thinking while we were away over the weekend how much I love the sense of community that caravan parks have. Everyone is so friendly. I guess most people are in holiday mode so they are feeling happy and relaxed. I lost count of the number of "good mornings" I received on the way to and from the bathrooms. I also lost count of the number of trips to and from the bathrooms. LOL. I'm sure I'll enjoy it even more when our children are of an age where I don't have to go with them every single time. :-)

There aren't any high fences dividing one families personal "space" from another's. I think that brings down a lot of *internal* fences and provides an opportunity and an inclination to chat to one another. I was sitting outside under our "verandah" with our 3 year old yesterday morning while the people next to us were packing up their van next to us. My son piped up with "where's your mummy"? to this elderly gentleman. I resisted the urge to say she was probably 6-feet under (not that my 3 year old would even understand that phrase) and simply told him his mummy wasn't with him.

The guy had quite a chuckle to himself over the thought of travelling around with his "mummy" at his age and made a quiet comment to me that he was quite glad that wasn't the case. :-) I guess at 3 that's a concept that hasn't even been born in his little mind.

On one of my many trips to the bathroom a lady stopped to talk with my DD about whether she'd enjoyed swimming the day before. Without huge fences and space surrounding us, everyone can see a certain amount of what others are doing. It makes striking up a friendly conversation so much easier when you've had a little bit of insight into what the person has been doing.

I can't help but wonder if we've gone too far in the whole "privacy rights" issue. After all, how do you offer a neighbour assistance if it's needed if you have no idea what is happening in their lives or the fact that they need some assistance?

I love watching the kids on the playground too. Kids don't care if they've never met before. They're quite happy to strike up a friendship on the spot and get on with the business of having FUN together. We could learn quite a lot from them couldn't we?

I can't help but feel that our desire for *privacy* and our desire to lock up all our stuff to protect it from other people who want to *take* it has really robbed us of our sense of community.

In a way I guess caravan parks offer a little taste of what "community" and also "simple living" have to offer. Okay, the temporariness of them does take away from that a little. But the fact that people have only small amounts of "stuff" to take care of, limited amounts of technology to distract them from "real people" and enough to time to stop and have a chat with people as they go about their daily business, does create a very pleaseant atmosphere to be in.

3 comments:

Kez said...

ITA - people are more likely to be sitting outside not stuck inside looking at the tv, so it's more natural to strike up a conversation as you walk past.

Lisa said...

I also think it is a simpler way of life - you cna only take so much with you and therefore you have less distractions.

Lib said...

I am a simple side of life person, I find I have more time to do for others and being outdoors most tend to stop and chat.
Enjoy your writings very much.
Have a Great day!!!
Blessins',
Lib