Self-Segregating?: Part 1
Do you know the feeling of when you’re convinced that you have found the perfect place to set up camp? The emotions that build up while driving to the location accompanied by a sweet surge of joy that bubbles up? You hop out of the car in that familiar way which is part leg stretch, part glute squeeze.
The trees are casting the right amount of shade, or perhaps, they create a surrounded clearing. There aren’t too many rocks underfoot and you can eyeball the exact space you wish to use for food prep and another section for when “nature” calls.
An involuntary exhale, laced with a smidgeon of self gratitude grunting, slowly escapes your body.
All of your pre-planning legwork was flawless. You’re aware of the kind of animals you might encounter. You’ve calculated the costs for all the fees and completed a look ahead on weather conditions for the duration of your stay. You cannot wait to unload and begin the ceremony of the tent set up.
You hear footsteps approaching…
“Hey! I wanted to come over and say hi. We are camping just across the field over there.” (the nice stranger motions with a thumb)
“Hello! Thanks so much! It’s beautiful here, right?!” you say.
“It’s amaze-balls. I love it here. We’ve been visiting now for 8 or more years. How did you find us?” A frozen smile inquires.
So goes the account of how I was welcomed to my new suburban neighborhood. I dressed it up in a camping metaphor for levity, but the dialogue exchanged was authentic. My new neighbors, joined in pairs, drifted across the street to welcome me and ask at the same time how I’d found them. Not the neighborhood, but… them. My response was dripping with naiveté and sincerity “Have we met? Well, we just used a realtor and asked them to search for houses in master planned communities.”