Why Small Towns are Sweeter than Christmas Morning

I’ve moved out.  Way out, to the very edge of things. Here the spring grass sprouts underfoot and the songbirds are so robust you feel like banging on the wall and telling them to turn that shit down. But you don’t.

It’s spring now and the apple trees are thick with flowers. They look like terrestrial clouds that throb and hum with bees. Bikes lay spent in the grass as their owners wield fishing rods, bobbing for the catfish that are spawning in the shallows, churning up the water and mud in their frenzy.

This is the place where everyone knows your name. Except Janine who knows me only as two eggs, sunny side up, dry toast with coffee on the side.

I lived in a small town once, in another lifetime and I thought it was something I did for a season, you know, until I hit the big time in the big city. And so I left for the parties and the award banquets and the nightclub openings. While they were thrilling at first, I soon tired of them. And as I dragged myself out, mustering the energy to tolerate the vain and vapid, I realized that this wasn’t for everyone. More specifically, this wasn’t for me.

Not that the big city was all bad. I met some gems who will be friends for life and I loved the diversity, the crazy, tattooed weirdness of it all.

But me… I choose to live in a small town.

Here, I can still buy a house at an affordable price and my groceries don’t require a second mortgage. I’m not sure if there is more to do here or if you just get to hear everything that’s going on but there’s nothing sleepy about small towns.

And sure it takes you 45 minutes to buy a loaf of bread because you have to chat to everyone, and you get embroiled in the minutia of the lives of others no matter how much you resist the dark side of alluring gossip, but at least you’re getting in the game.

The anonymity of the city gives way to the victories and tragedies of lives with which you now have a meaningful connection. You can’t hide or BS your way through life because you’re known here.  You have to step up and be accountable. You matter.

So follow your bliss friends. I don’t mean finding a swami on the banks of the Ganges or eating quinoa at a yoga retreat in Venezuela. I mean living in a place that makes you happy. It really is all about location, location, location! Even if you only visit a park or camp in your backyard, be sure to find a place where you can rest, where you feel like you belong. And just, you know…breathe.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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2 thoughts on “Why Small Towns are Sweeter than Christmas Morning

    1. Nikki Fotheringham Post author

      Thanks Ms. Purdie – I think you know a little about living in a small town!

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