Tonight I was in our building's laundry room, washing some towels, and I saw the superintendent. As happens with most people these days, we started talking about our imminent move. Finally, he said, "Don't people LEAVE there to come here? Can't be that great." And with that, he left.
As he walked out, I said, mostly to myself, "Those streets of gold they promised us? I haven't seen any up here in twenty years." Like the superintendent, most people who live in the city don't seem to find those streets of gold, either.
A young man was pulling clothes out of the dryer and said, "I'm from the east coast. Prince Edward Island. I'm here to work ... and I wish I were back home. I've only been here a little while and the things I've seen, I couldn't believe some of them. People just aren't nice here."
I nodded and said, "The thing I remember most about moving to the city was learning not to look people in the eye and say hello when walking on the street."
The young man said, "And the people talking to themselves, and living on the streets! Wow. Not that I'm about to do it, but if you fell asleep on the side of the street here, I'm sure you'd be robbed blind. Down home, though, you fall asleep on the side of the road, you're going to wake up with a blanket on you and a cup of coffee beside you."
That's one reason we're moving to the homestead. I've been here long enough that I've forgotten how shocking street people and random violence can be. The streets of gold never existed, but there's a certain paradise in being where everyone knows your name and neighbours (defined by anyone within the community) look out for each other.